USS KEARSARGE, At Sea (NNS) -- U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers from coalition bases and U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) launched March 20, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn, to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973, which is centered on protecting Libyan citizens from further harm.
The Growlers provided electronic warfare support over Libya while Harriers from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's ground forces and air defenses, joining an international effort to halt an offensive against the Libyan populace.
"Protecting the innocent and conducting combined operations are what we are designed to do," said Col. Mark J. Desens, commanding officer of 26th MEU. "Our forces are doing both as part of the U.S. commitment to protect Libyan citizens."
Joint Task Force (JTF) Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of UNSCR 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi's regime forces. JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, III.
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