USS Kearsarge, At sea --
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, which is centered on protecting Libyan citizens from any further harm from the Libyan Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi regime, now involves 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aircraft, as part of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, Mar. 20.
Strikes from 26th MEU’s AV-8B Harriers against Qadhafi 's ground forces and air defenses commenced in the early morning hours 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 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 United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces. JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III.
For more information on 26th MEU visit http://www.marines.mil/unit/26thmeu or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, @26MEU. Still and video imagery are available at http://www.dvidshub.net/units/26MEU. For media queries contact Capt. Richard Ulsh, 26th MEU public affairs officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.