A few thoughts about the recently announced strike tonight against Syria.
It is early, but I have a full day tomorrow and wanted to make a few points.
When I heard it was "a few dozen TLAM" I figured I would dust off my old TLAM background for a quick overview.
Here is what we know now;
The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was Syria's use of banned chemical weapons that killed at least 100 people, U.S. military officials told NBC News.
Two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired 59 Tomahawk missiles intended for a single target — Ash Sha'irat in Homs province in western Syria, the officials said. That's the airfield from which the United States believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired the banned weapons.
59 from two ships sounds about right. Depending on the loadout, and the usual "Primary, Backup, Ready-Spare" that leaves us a few more to play around with if needed.
We should at some point find out which ships fired the TLAM, but assume they were some of the Arleigh Burke DDG we have in the Med.
FLT I have 90 VLS Cells and FLT II and IIA have 96. Not all those will have TLAM loaded but enough do.
- Ash Aha'irat (Al Shayrat) airbase is about 25 miles SE of Homs City.
- That is a photo of the base above. Just about a perfect place to attack with TLAM. The targeting is almost school-house training classic.
- It is well away from most Russian forces, and the approach to the target given the range gives you enough options to avoid even flying over their main units with a wide separation.
- It makes a point.
- It will not interfere with operations against ISIS - which is the primary effort.
- No USA lives are directly put in danger. Besides the odd advisor or training team - should not threaten Russian or Iranian forces either.
- Based on what has been said by the US government over the last 24-hrs, we had to do something.
- If we had to do something, this was the right call.
- For a point of scale for TLAM punitive expeditions; in Desert Fox against IRAQ in 1998, we shot over 330 TLAM over three days in addition to airstrikes.
- This is a focused strike. Proper COA selection, IMAO.
This should check a few boxes and hopefully this will be it for now.
We have enough fighting in this horrible part of the world right now. We don't need more.
UPDATE: Lucas Tomlinson is reporting that the ships were the USS ROSS (DDG 71) and USS PORTER (DDG 78).
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo:
JUST IN: Pentagon releases video of US cruise missile launch against Syrian airbase pic.twitter.com/Qbpoddhw1k— Jon Passantino (@passantino) April 7, 2017