Popular Mechanics has a round-up post listing all of the assets it knows about that are being sent over to the Middle East. I’d suggest reading the post but here’s a bulleted list:
- Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces Crisis Response—Central Command of approximately 100 Marines and MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft designed to provide a quick reaction force for U.S. forces and facilities throughout the region.
- two U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters arriving from Taji, Iraq.
- Second Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division flew on a sky train of three C-17 Globemaster III transports from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Kuwait. The battalion consists of three companies of parachute infantry, about three times larger than the SPMAGTF, with heavier support weapons
- Army announced the entire 1st Brigade Combat Team will deploy. A brigade consists of three battalions, so the deployment will triple the number of paratroopers on the ground.
- Paratroopers from the Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade are also deploying in unknown numbers.
- a company of 150-200 U.S. Army Rangers is deploying to the region. This matches a series of flights observed on January 2, including two giant C-5M Super Galaxy and one C-17 Globemaster III transports taking off from Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. Possibly the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
- 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), the elite “Night Stalkers” special operations helicopter unit. Rangers train in close coordination with the Night Stalkers and their MH-60M Blackhawk and MH-47G Chinook helicopters, which would provide in-theater transport. A C-5M can carry four to six MH-60Ms and two or more MH-47Gs.
- U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 8 is in the North Arabian Sea, near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. CSG-8 consists of the carrier Harry S. Truman, guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, and destroyers Lassen, Farragut, and Forrest Sherman. In addition to four squadrons of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters, CSG8 also likely embarks dozens of Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, each with a half-ton pound blast fragmentation warhead
- USS Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group has canceled planned exercises with the Moroccan military to redirect to the Middle East. An Expeditionary Strike Group is typically composed of two or three amphibious assault ships with an embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit and one or two destroyer escorts. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is an air-ground force centered around a marine infantry battalion, reinforced with amphibious vehicles, M1A1 Abrams tanks, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors, AH-1Z attack helicopters, and AV-8B Harrier jump jets.
Iran has announced that there will be no more attacks if the US doesn’t “retaliate”. I think the above may be wise as I believe the Iranian promises to be worth as much as a Venezuelan bolivar right now. I never wish to see war – but with all of what Iran has done in its 40-year low-level war with us, none of us know what they would do. I would like to think that just these advance units would be sufficient to deflect any notion by Iran to ramp up its aggression.