Saturday, March 19, 2011

UK Forces in the Operation Odessey Dawn Fight

From the UK Guardian Blog:

1.26am: A statement from Defence Secretary Liam Fox has more details of the British military forces involved:

We have launched Tomahawk land attack missiles from a Trafalgar Class submarine and Storm Shadow missiles from Tornado GR4s. The fast jets flew 3,000 miles from RAF Marham and back, making this the longest range bombing mission conducted by the RAF since the Falklands conflict. This operation was supported by VC10 and Tristar air-to-air refuelling aircraft as well as E3D Sentry and Sentinel surveillance aircraft.

HMS Westminster is off the coast of Libya and HMS Cumberland is in the region ready to support operations. Typhoon aircraft are also standing by to provide support.

Our capable and adaptable armed forces are once again displaying their courage and professionalism. This action has provided a strong signal - the international community will not stand by while the Libyan people suffer under the Gaddafi regime.

1.17am: The UK military has officially confirmed that Royal Air Force planes also took part on the attack on Gaddafi's forces, with flights by GR4 Tornados firing Storm Shadow missiles – a European version of the cruise missile – at targets in Libya:

A statement from the Chief of Defence Staff's strategic communications officer Major General John Lorimer:

British armed forces, as authorised by the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, have participated in a co-ordinated strike against Libyan air defence systems.

In addition to the Tomahawk land attack missiles (TLAM) launched from a Trafalgar Class submarine, I can now confirm that the RAF has also launched Storm Shadow missiles from a number of Tornado GR4 fast jets, which flew direct from RAF Marham as part of a co-ordinated coalition plan to enforce the resolution.