DEMPSEY SPEAKS ON CARRIER DELAY
USS Harry S Truman’s Delayed Deployment Has Effects
By Harold Hutchison
General Martin Dempsey admitted during a Pentagon briefing of reporters that the delayed deployment of USS Harry S Truman will have an effect on American capabilities in the region.
“When you have carrier-based aircraft, you have complete autonomy and control over when you use them,” he said. “When you use land-based aircraft, you often have to have host-nation permission to use them. So the increased risk is not in the number or type of capabilities -- it’s in how responsive they can be with the autonomy that we might desire,” he said during the 6 February briefing.
During Operation Desert Fox in 1998, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates denied the use of land bases. The United States was forces to rely on carrier planes to carry out the airstrikes from 16 December, 1998 to 19 December, 1998.
“Would I prefer to have two carriers in the Gulf, given the tension with Iran? Sure I would," Dempsey said. "But this allows us to meet the requirements in the Gulf and manage the risk and preserve readiness."