What a No-Fly Zone Coalition Looks Like: A Patchwork of Camouflage

Mar 21, 2011 2:20pm

ABC's Luis Martinez reports from the Pentagon: This is what a coalition effort looks like – literally; a patchwork of camouflage combat uniforms and flight suits. Below is a photo released this morning by Task Force Odyssey Dawn, which is running the operation from aboard the American command ship USS Mount Whitney.   In it you can see the head of the task force,  Adm. Sam Locklear, meeting with the coalition liaisons who are working from the American ship to coordinate operations.  The ship is a floating command center/military headquarters for the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet.  Right now it includes not only its normal complement of crew but additional US personnel brought aboard to make this a joint task force (Army, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force).  More importantly there are also representatives from the French, UK and other militaries aboard who are supposed to ease the coordination between what countries are doing what over Libya.  There are also representative of these militaries working at the US AFRICOM headquarters in Germany. You can see them all huddled around a conference table in the photo, provided by the U.S. Navy:  Gen. Carter Ham, head of US Africa Command, told reporters at the Pentagon Monday that the plan is still to hand over leadership of the operation from the US to an undefined coalition member.  Ham’s most important concern is to handover control without affecting operations, quite a complex task. “This is a very complex task under the best of conditions, so my goal is to not cause disruption to the ongoing operation while we effect the headquarters transition," he said. “It's not so simple as just having a handshake someplace and saying, "OK, you're now in charge." There are some very complex technical things that have to occur, particularly in the management, command and control of the air campaign, to make sure that, one, we have no disruption whatsoever in the ongoing operation, two, that we put none of our air crews at risk as we go through this transition to whatever that follow-on headquarters would be. So there are some — there are some complex tasks that have to occur.”

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