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US to deploy 'mothership' in Middle East amid tensions with Iran

Washington, Sat, 28 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 28(ANI): The US Navy is converting an aging warship into a makeshift staging base for the commando teams in the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran, al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somali pirates and other threats


The floating base dubbed as a "mothership" could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by NavySeals.


A Navy Fleet Forces Command spokesman Lieutenant Commander Mike Kafka declined to elaborate on the floating base's purpose or disclose where exactly it would be deployed in the Middle East.


But the Navy documents indicate that it could be deployed in the Persian Gulf, where Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping route for the world's oil supply.


Other contract documents said the mothership would be used to "support mine countermeasure" missions.


Though the US Navy already has a substantial presence in the Persian Gulf and surrounding waters, the mothership ship could play an instrumental role in secretive commando missions offshore and help resuming possible Seal's maritime missions, The Washington Post reports.


Defense officials said the Ponce would serve as a makeshift base temporarily until the Navy builds a new one. (ANI)


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