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The US Navy in Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001-2002 

by Gregory Bereiter, PhD

Naval History & Heritage Command 


photo of guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) as seen from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the early morning hours, Christmas Day, 2001.

On the morning of 11 September 2001, terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda perpetrated the most devastating attack on the United States since the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941. Nineteen terrorists, most of who were of Saudi Arabian origin, seized control of four commercial airliners not long after takeoff from airports on the East Coast. Two airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. A third, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in an open field in southwestern Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to subdue the hijackers and retake control of the plane. These unprecedented attacks claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people and injured some 7,000 more, and were immediately recognized as acts of war both by the administration of President George W. Bush and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).1 The attacks also catapulted the U.S. military into a protracted “global war on terrorism” that encompassed offensive and counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than a decade.2

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1 For a detailed narrative of events on the morning of 11 September 2001, see National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report (Boston: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), 278–323. See also Stephen Holmes, “Al-Qaeda, September 11, 2001,” in Diego Gambetta, ed., Making Sense of Suicide Missions, updated ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 131–172.

2 On terminological debates surrounding the “Global War on Terror,” see Barry Scott Zellen, The Art of War in an Asymmetric World: Strategy for the Post–Cold War Era (London: Continuum International Publishing, 2012), 282–283; Jan Goldman, ed., The War on Terror Encyclopedia: From the Rise of Al-Qaeda to 9/11 and Beyond (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2014), 154.

The U.S. Navy played a critical role in the immediate military response to the 9/11 attacks, codenamed Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which formally began on 7 October 2001 and unfolded primarily in the Central Command (CENTCOM) theater of operations. Over the course of several months, American and Coalition military operations inside Afghanistan devastated the Taliban regime and seriously undermined Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, which had used the land-locked country as a training ground and safe haven since 1996.3 Naval power was central to the operational successes of OEF, particularly during the intense opening phases of the military campaign. By December 2001, most campaign goals had been achieved and combat operations shifted to a mountainous section of eastern Afghanistan called Tora Bora, where isolated al-Qaeda and Taliban forces had fled. Several months later, U.S. forces launched Operation Anaconda against residual al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan, the largest pitched battle of the war.4 Hundreds of al-Qaeda and Taliban fugitives escaped into Pakistan and bin Laden was not captured or killed, yet al-Qaeda’s infrastructure in Afghanistan was destroyed and the Taliban regime was brought down just 102 days after the 9/11 attacks.

            The initial phases of OEF necessitated an enormous commitment in terms of total naval forces in theater. During the operation’s first six months, the Navy committed to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT)/Fifth Fleet area of responsibility a total of six aircraft carrier battle groups (CVBGs), four amphibious ready groups (ARGs), extensive additional support ships, and around 60,000 active-duty Sailors and Marines as well as some 13,000

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Helpful assessments of particular aspects of OEF include Nathan S. Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001–2002: From the Sea (Washington, DC: United States Marine Corps History Division, 2011); Donald P. Wright, A Different Kind of War: The United States Army in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), October 2001–September 2005 (Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010); Seth G. Jones, In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (New York: Norton, 2009).

4 See especially Sean Naylor, Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda (New York: Berkley Books, 2005).

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reservists. In terms of ships alone, this constituted a surge of over three times the number of naval vessels typically assigned to NAVCENT/Fifth Fleet. Coalition navies—the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in particular—also participated extensively in OEF, providing further warfighting capabilities and support functions.

            This essay briefly examines key aspects of the Navy’s contribution to the opening phases of OEF: naval strike warfare; combined operations of amphibious ready groups and Marine expeditionary units; and maritime interception operations. Naval strike warfare dominated and shaped the U.S. Central Command–directed joint air campaign, as carrier-based strike fighters and ship-launched cruise missiles pummeled Taliban airfields, air defense positions, and command and control nodes as well as al-Qaeda training bases. Amphibious ready groups and their embarked Marine expeditionary units (MEUs) surged additional naval power and executed an array of expeditionary missions, including the longest-range amphibious assault in U.S. naval history. U.S. and Coalition naval forces also carried out wide-ranging maritime interception operations in an effort to defeat international terrorist organizations, deter state and non-state actors from supporting terrorism, and inhibit other illegal maritime activities. Owing to its absolute control of the sea during OEF, the Navy projected immense power ashore and demonstrated its agility and adaptability as a vital instrument of U.S. foreign policy.

Naval Strike Warfare

Attacks against al-Qaeda and Afghanistan’s Taliban regime required a deep-strike capability in one of the most remote parts of southwest Asia where U.S. military forces initially had no access to forward land bases. Because Afghanistan was landlocked and positioned nearly 400 miles from the nearest sea at its southernmost border, carrier-based strike aircraft and ship-launched cruise missiles played a foremost role in the campaign. This was the first time that the U.S.

military prosecuted a war from aircraft carriers, TLAM–armed vessels, and land bases positioned so far away from the combat zone. While Air Force heavy bombers delivered a large amount of the munitions used to attack al-Qaeda and Taliban forces, fighter aircraft from the Navy’s carriers flew over 70 percent of all strike missions between the formal start of OEF on 7 October 2001 and the end of December, by which time the Taliban regime had effectively collapsed.5 The OEF air campaign was also the most precise naval bombing effort to that date, owing to the nearly exclusive use of precision-guided munitions by Navy strike fighters. Naval strike warfare therefore dominated and shaped the CENTCOM-directed joint air campaign, which achieved significant results in a relatively short time span.

            To maximize expeditionary air power during OEF’s critical opening phases, the Navy surged numerous aircraft carriers to the North Arabian Sea. Each aircraft carrier deployed with its embarked carrier air wing, comprised of several squadrons and detachments of both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, the latter comprised mainly of F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet fighters.6 Although Enterprise (CVN-65) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70) were the only carriers on station when strike operations began on 7 October, Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) arrived on 15 October. John C. Stennis (CVN-74) arrived several weeks later, in preparation for relieving Enterprise, which had already been deployed for nearly seven months. Kitty Hawk (CV-63), an older, conventional large-deck carrier, deployed from her home port of Yokosuka, Japan, without her full air wing complement in order to serve as an afloat forward staging base for joint special

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5 Benjamin S. Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2005), 28–29.

Tony Holmes, F-14 Tomcat Units of Operation Enduring Freedom (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2008), 24–45; Rebecca Grant, Battle-Tested: Carrier Aviation in Afghanistan and Iraq (Washington, DC: IRIS Press, 2005), 32–35.

operations forces (SOF) preparing to conduct raids into Afghanistan to hunt down terrorists and facilitate the overthrow of the Taliban regime.7

            Carrier air wings executed tens of thousands of long-range air missions, a number of which entailed distances to target of nearly 700 nautical miles.8 Operating well beyond coastal reaches, aircrews remained on station over Afghanistan for hours, carrying out coordinated strike operations and providing on-call interdiction and close air support (CAS) to allied SOF and Coalition ground forces. Some air missions lasted as long as ten hours, testing the endurance of the men and women in the cockpit.9  Each air wing flew an average of 30–40 combat sorties per day.10 Because air missions were of extraordinarily long duration and most carrier-based strike aircraft were shorter-range F/A-18s, naval aircrews relied heavily on inflight refueling support from Air Force and Royal Air Force (RAF) tankers based out of Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.11 Aircraft carriers on station in the North Arabian Sea performed flight operations for approximately 14–16 hours per day, with two carriers typically implementing a day-night rotation.12  Navy and Marine Corps strike fighters were supported by Navy EA-6B

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7 David Brown, “The Element of Flexibility,” Navy Times, 15 October 2001.

8 According to Benjamin S. Lambeth, carrier-launched air missions during OEF came to average a distance of 600 nautical miles from their stations around 100–120 nautical miles south of the Pakistani coast to central Afghanistan and another 150–200 nautical miles to northern Afghanistan (Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 20).

9 Lisa Troshinsky, “Navy Pilots Set Flying and Target Records in Afghanistan,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 19, no. 4 (22 January 2002): 1.

10 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 27.

11 British TriStar and VC-10 tankers provided approximately 20 percent of all inflight refueling support throughout OEF. As many as 12 allied tankers were airborne at any moment to support strike operations.

12 In the first two-carrier iteration, Carl Vinson (CVN-70) served as the day carrier while Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) served as the night carrier. When Vinson departed the CENTCOM AOR after being relieved by John C. Stennis (CVN-74), Theodore Roosevelt became the day carrier while Stennis assumed duties as the night carrier.


jpeg of a Tomahawk cruise missile launched from the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) in a strike against al Qaeda terrorist training camps on 7 October 2001

Prowlers, which jammed enemy radar and communications transmissions, and Navy P-3 Orions, which functioned effectively as tactical intelligence platforms.13

            Navy surface combatants and submarines armed with TLAMs conducted many of the initial strikes against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, particularly during the first several days of combat operations. McFaul (DDG-74), John Paul Jones (DDG-53), O’Brien (DD-975), Philippine Sea (CG-58), and Providence (SSN-719), together with British submarines HMS Triumph and HMS Trafalgar, launched a barrage of some 50 TLAMs against fixed targets inside Afghanistan on the evening of 7 October.14 McFaul and John Paul Jones launched around 15 Tomahawks against high-priority targets the next day, and Providence fired three additional TLAMs against “emerging targets of opportunity” within Afghanistan on 10 October.15 Heavy use of cruise missiles at the outset of OEF underscored the value of long-range, precision-strike capabilities, which had improved in preceding years through the addition of GPS guidance, enhanced reliability, reduced time for targeting, and increased operational range.

            Carrier-based F-14s and F/A-18s demonstrated the markedly improved capability that naval strike aviation had developed since Operation Desert Storm (1991), making substantial use of sizeable inventories of GPS- and laser-guided weapons. Approximately 93 percent of the weapons dropped by participating carrier air wings were precision-guided.16 The precision

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13 C. Mark Brinkley, “Prowlers Assume Ground Jamming Role,” Defense News, 26 November 2001.

14 Iain Ballantyne, Strike from the Sea: The Royal Navy and U.S. Navy at War in the Middle East (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004), 164–165; “Missiles Fired from British Subs,” The Guardian, 8 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/september11.afghanistan; “Blair Confirms British Role in Attacks,” The Guardian, 7 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/07/afghanistan.terrorism10; “The Bombing Begins,” The Guardian, 8 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/politics.september11.

15 S. L. Morison, “The Military Phase of the Fight Against Terrorism Begins,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.41 (15 October 2001): 3; 2001 Command History, John Paul Jones (DDG-53), NHHC Archives, 7; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

16 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 32.

munitions employed by Navy aircrews against targets inside Afghanistan included the 2,000-pound GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), the 1,000-pound GBU-16 Paveway II laser-guided bomb (LGB), the AGM-65 tactical air-to-ground missile (AGM), and the AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile–Extended Range (SLAM-ER).17  Laser illumination provided for greater speed and accuracy in dynamic targeting. Forward air controllers, many of whom were SOF and paramilitary personnel clandestinely inserted into Afghanistan shortly after the onset of hostilities, laser-designated strike fighters’ munitions onto their projected targets after aircrews had released them on geographic coordinates.18  According to some assessments, 84 percent of precision weapons launched by Navy strike fighters hit their designated aim points, though at least five incidents of collateral damage to civilians and residential areas in Kabul and Herat occurred in the first three weeks of OEF.19

            The focus of naval strike missions shifted several times over the course of OEF’s initial phases. During the first 10 days of OEF, strike aircraft attacked mainly pre-briefed fixed targets such as airfields, air defense sites, bunkers, command and control nodes, military barracks, and training camps in or near key cities such as Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif.20  Strikes then shifted to emerging targets of opportunity within selected engagement zones, such as al-Qaeda leaders and Taliban vehicles and troops on the move against allied Northern Alliance

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17 Steve Vogel, “They Said No. This is Our Answer,” Washington Post, 8 October 2001; Eric Umansky, “Studs and Duds,” Washington Monthly (December 2001): 15–21.

18 Richard L. Kiper, “Finding Those Responsible: The Beginnings of Operation Enduring Freedom,” Special Warfare (September 2002): 3; Benjamin S. Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror: America’s Conduct of Operation Enduring Freedom (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2005), 70–71.

19 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 32; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 100–102.

20 Holmes, F-14 Tomcat Units of Operation Enduring Freedom, 26–39; Robert J. Schneller Jr., Anchor of Resolve: A History of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet (Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 2007), 82.

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forces.21  By mid-December, the Taliban regime had collapsed, Hamid Karzai had become the country’s interim leader, and al-Qaeda had retreated from its remote cave complex at Tora Bora, prompting mission planners to focus strikes on residual al-Qaeda forces in the caves of Zhawar Kili in eastern Afghanistan. Air attacks had decreased considerably by the middle of January 2002 but intensified again during Operation Anaconda, a major U.S.-led ground offensive against remaining al-Qaeda fighters in eastern Afghanistan’s Shah-i-Kot Valley from 2–18 March.22  After Anaconda, the successful conclusion of which signaled the winding down of OEF’s opening phases, sporadic sorties were flown as policing actions in support of the new Afghan provisional government.

            The Navy projected tremendous force ashore during OEF strike operations using naval aviation and cruise missile attacks. Its strikes were continuously employed for tactical and operational effect, thereby shaping the battlespace on the ground inside Afghanistan. Exploiting sea control as well as complete air supremacy, U.S. naval forces executed deep-strike missions that destroyed or seriously degraded al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The success of naval strike operations facilitated the consolidation of Hamid Karzai’s provisional government in late 2001 as well as the deployment of provincial reconstruction teams throughout Afghanistan in 2002. These highly networked operations capitalized on naval, joint, and Coalition combat assets, applying lethality and versatility across the full range of strike warfare.

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21 Rowan Scarborough, “U.S. Splits Afghanistan into ‘Engagement Zones’,” Washington Times, 18 October 2001.

22 On Operation Anaconda, see especially Naylor, Not a Good Day to Die; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 178–231.

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Amphibious Ready Group–Marine Expeditionary Unit Operations

The combined operations of amphibious ready groups and Marine expeditionary units constituted a second important component of naval action during the initial phases of OEF. The many ARGs deployed to the North Arabian Sea, together with their embarked MEUs, provided CENTCOM and NAVCENT commanders with flexible sea-based expeditionary forces capable of performing a vast range of missions on extremely short notice. ARGs centered on Peleliu (LHA-5), Bataan (LHD-5), and Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), in conjunction with the 15th, 26th, and 13th MEUs respectively, executed amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations, and supported special operations forces. They also participated in multinational training exercises designed to enhance regional stability and cooperation between the United States and several of its allies. Arguably the most significant collective ARG-MEU operation of the first months of OEF involved Task Force 58, a naval expeditionary task force, directed by Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore to carry out an amphibious raid aimed at disrupting Taliban command and control in southern Afghanistan. Elements of Task Force 58, formed from Amphibious Squadrons 1 and 8 and the 15th and 26th MEU (SOC s), conducted the longest-range assault from the sea in U.S. naval history on 25 November 2001. ARG-MEU operations in OEF underscored the enduring close relationship between the Navy and Marine Corps, and demonstrated the adaptability of amphibious operations in a wide array of circumstances both inside and outside the theater of combat operations.

            In addition to the Enterprise and Carl Vinson strike groups, the Peleliu ARG was among the first naval forces to arrive in the CENTCOM and NAVCENT area of responsibility during the run-up to OEF. Each ARG consisted of an amphibious assault ship (LHA or LHD), an amphibious transport dock ship (LPD), and a dock landing ship (LSD). They also each carried a Marine expeditionary unit, special operations capable (MEU [SOC]), built around a battalion

landing team of infantry, an AV-8B Harrier detachment, a helicopter squadron, and a combat service support element. Having deployed from their home ports prior to the 9/11 attacks, the Peleliu ARG carried the 15th MEU (SOC) while the Bataan ARG—which did not enter NAVCENT/Fifth Fleet area of operations until mid-November—carried the 26th MEU (SOC). Shortly after OEF commenced, NAVCENT leaders began shaping plans for amphibious raids into Afghanistan to accelerate the defeat of Taliban and al-Qaeda forces.

            The decision to conduct amphibious raids concurrent with intensive strike operations stemmed from the apparent need to prevent Taliban forces fleeing their northern strongholds and from reinforcing their remaining positions in the southern part of Afghanistan. Aiming to deny the Taliban a chance to strengthen their defenses, Vice Admiral Moore, the NAVCENT commander, opted in late October to combine the Peleliu and Bataan ARGs into a single amphibious task force under the command of Marine Brigadier General James N. Mattis. While the strategic objectives of Task Force (TF) 58 remained somewhat indefinite in late October and early November, Brigadier General Mattis organized a small staff comprised of selected Navy and Marine Corps personnel from multiple commands to plan and execute the initial amphibious offensive into Afghanistan.23

            TF-58 executed the longest-range assault from the sea in U.S. naval history on 25 November 2001, maneuvering some 400 nautical miles directly from the ships of the Peleliu ARG to seize a remote desert airstrip in southern Afghanistan that became known as Forward Operating Base (FOB) Rhino.24  The task force met no resistance during the initial insertion. This was due in part to the efforts of a Navy SEAL (Sea-Air-Land) detachment that had been inserted

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23 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 79–87.

24 Ibid., 111–120; Steven L. Myers and James Dao, “The Marines’ 21st Century Beachhead is Far Inland,” New York Times, 22 December 2001.

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there several days before to provide surveillance and special reconnaissance over the objective. The build-up of forces at FOB Rhino was completed by 3 December. TF-58’s ship-to-shore maneuver was directly out of the joint Navy-Marine Corps concept of “expeditionary maneuver warfare,” which entailed rapid and deep movements directly from the sea to objectives inland. The establishment of this semi-permanent FOB marked the start of approximately two months of Marine combat operations in Afghanistan, first in and around Rhino and afterward at Kandahar Airfield, which light armored elements of TF-58 occupied on 14 December during follow-on operations from Kandahar to Kabul. 25

TF-58’s build-up of combat forces at Kandahar Airfield and the initiation of concurrent and distributed actions there involved Marines and Sailors in another key aspect of OEF: detention operations. Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 were some of the first Navy personnel deployed to FOB Rhino and the airfield at Kandahar, performing round-the-clock runway repair and fortifying the Marines’ fighting positions on the perimeters of both sites.26  The Seabees constructed a short-term holding facility at Kandahar Airfield to house Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees, the first 24 of which arrived on 18 December. A steady influx of detainees to the airfield quickly enlarged the holding facility population to more than 350 persons by 9 January 2002. Although most of the detainees at the Kandahar facility were low-level Taliban fighters, TF-58 sent a number of al-Qaeda terrorists and suspected Taliban leaders out to Navy ships for safekeeping. Eight high-value detainees were confined on board Peleliu, and were later transferred to Bataan. John Walker Lindh, an

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25 Task Force 58 Command Chronology (27 October 2001 to 26 February 2002), United States Marine Corps Archives, Box 2194, TF 58 C/C, 1; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 187–195; Carol Morello, “Marines Sweep into Airport at Kandahar,” The Washington Post, 14 December 2001; Steven L Myers, “Marines Move to Kandahar and Secure Airport,” New York Times, 14 December 2001.

26 Leonard W. W. Cooke, “A Deployment to Remember: The Navy’s Seabees in Afghanistan,” Seapower (October 2002): 55–57.

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American captured as an enemy combatant alongside Taliban fighters in November 2001, was among the detainees held on the ships.27

            The inherent flexibility of ARGs as a presence and crisis response force enabled their execution of additional security operations during the first months of OEF. Marines deployed an element of a battalion landing team from the Peleliu ARG in the second week of October to provide security for Air Force combat search and rescue personnel operating from Shahbaz Airbase in Jacobabad, Pakistan. They remained ashore for 43 days before soldiers from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division relieved them.28 A tactical recovery force launched from the Peleliu ARG to Panjgur, Pakistan, in late October and retrieved a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter abandoned by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which it then flew out to Kitty Hawk.29 The Peleliu ARG also steamed into the Persian Gulf in early November, remaining on station off the coast of Qatar with Marines standing by to evacuate U.S. citizens should terrorists strike the World Trade Organization conference then occurring in Doha.30

            ARGs and their embarked MEUs simultaneously took part in multinational military exercises intended to augment regional stability and cooperation between the United States and its allies and partners. The Bataan ARG participated in Exercise Bright Star from 11–25 October, a joint wargaming exercise in Egypt involving 65,000 personnel from 25 nations, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany.31 Sailors and

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27 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 148–149. At his subsequent trial in the United States in July 2002, John Walker Lindh pleaded guilty to supplying services to the Taliban and carrying weapons while fighting against the Northern Alliance. A federal judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole. During his sentencing, Lindh expressed remorse for his actions, stating that he had made a mistake by joining the Taliban (Susan Candiotti, “Walker Lindh Sentenced to 20 Years,” CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/10/04/lindh.statement/).

28 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 46–49.

29 Ibid., 62–63.

30 Ibid., 78.

31 Ibid., 66–67.

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Marines of the Peleliu ARG took part in Exercise Image Nautilus, a humanitarian assistance operation in Djibouti, from 10–14 November, delivering necessary medical and dental care to nearly 1,400 Djiboutians and helping to repair a local clinic.32  The Bonhomme Richard ARG, which carried the 13th MEU (SOC), participated in Exercise Edged Mallet in February 2002, conducting both humanitarian and civic assistance operations and readiness training along the coast of Kenya. Following Edged Mallet’s conclusion, the Bonhomme Richard ARG steamed north to the Persian Gulf and took part in Exercise Eastern Maverick in Qatar and Exercise Sea Soldier in Oman.33

The combined operations of ARGs and MEUs throughout the initial phases of Operation Enduring Freedom underscored the value of naval expeditionary forces, whose power projection capability, self-sufficiency, adaptability, and responsiveness gave CENTCOM and NAVCENT leaders a number of tactical options in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The operations of TF-58 in particular validated the effectiveness of long-range, ship-to-objective maneuver, which until then was something rather new and essentially untried. Amphibious forces persistently surged additional naval power in and around the Arabian Sea, while performing security, crisis response, humanitarian relief, and limited contingency operations.

Maritime Interception Operations

A third key aspect of the Navy’s contribution to OEF centered on maritime interception operations (MIO) in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf. These operations

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32 Ibid., 78.

33 Ibid., 267–268.

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represented, at least in part, a continuance of U.S. naval activities that was conducted in the NAVCENT region since August 1990, when the UN Security Council formally condemned the invasion of Kuwait and imposed international sanctions on Iraq.34  Yet they also constituted something new: a comprehensive attempt to prevent the seaborne escape of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders from southern Pakistan, disrupt or defeat other international terrorist groups, and deter states and non-state actors from supporting terrorism. CENTCOM and NAVCENT leaders strongly suspected that bin Laden and his top aides would flee from Afghanistan into Pakistan, and from there to nearby countries using small vessels such as dhows.35 For this reason, maritime interception operations in late 2001 and early 2002 were heavily focused on leadership interdiction. These operations, executed principally by Navy surface combatants and those from Coalition partners including Great Britain, France, Canada, and Australia, further demonstrated the capability of multinational naval forces to cooperate productively in spite of lingering interoperability issues.36

            Recognition of the need for a robust MIO component to Operation Enduring Freedom surfaced well before the military response to 9/11 formally commenced. NAVCENT commander Vice Admiral Moore established Task Force 50 in late September 2001 to provide the necessary command structure for the various carrier battle groups operating in the Arabian Sea, appointing Rear Admiral Thomas E. Zelibor, embarked in Carl Vinson, as its commanding officer. While TF-50’s primary mission was to conduct air operations into Afghanistan, its secondary tasks

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34 On the adoption of UN Security Council Resolutions 661 and 665 and their impact on U.S. naval patrol and interceptions operations during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, see Marolda and Schneller, Shield and Sword, 54–55, 86–87; Pokrant, Desert Shield at Sea, 29–37. For a detailed discussion of maritime interception of Iraqi merchant vessels in the early 1990s, see James Goldrick, “Maritime Sanctions Enforcement against Iraq, 1990–2003,” in Bruce A. Elleman and S. C. M. Paine, eds., Naval Blockades and Seapower: Strategies and Counter-Strategies, 19052005 (London: Routledge, 2005), 203–205.

35 Rowan Scarborough, “U.S. Sees Bin Laden Leaving by Sea,” Washington Times, 25 December 2001, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2001/dec/25/20011225-034242-5803r/.

36 Eric J. Lerhe, “Task Force 151,” Canadian Military Journal 14, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 5–14.

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included the protection of ARGs and the Combat Logistics Force, maritime interception, and support of MIO and reconnaissance operations in the Horn of Africa region.37 In light of the increasing number of Coalition ships being committed to support OEF, by October NAVCENT staff anticipated employing allied naval forces in maritime interception activities in support of both UN Security Council sanctions on Iraq and leadership interdiction actions.

            Maritime interception operations were fraught with danger for the Sailors charged with carrying them out. An incident that occurred in November 2001 underscores the perilous nature of such actions. The destroyer Peterson (DD-969) intercepted and diverted M/V Samra to a holding anchorage in the northern Persian Gulf on 18 November, after noticing the vessel sitting low in the water and listing. An eight-member boarding party from Peterson discovered some 1,700 metric tons of black-market Iraqi oil, but as it was concluding its inspection the weather deteriorated and Samra was overcome by heavy seas. Samra quickly sank, drowning security team members Engineman 1st Class Vincent Parker and Electronics Technician 3rd Class Benjamin Johnson.38  Four smugglers also drowned. An MH-60R from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 44 Detachment 4, embarked on board Peterson, an SH-60B Seahawk from HSL-42 Detachment 2 from cruiser Leyte Gulf (CG-55), two rigid-hull inflatable boats from Leyte Gulf, and frigates Ingraham (FFG-61) and Australian Sydney (FFG 03) managed to rescue six Sailors and ten smugglers.

            U.S. naval forces increasingly focused on leadership interdiction as Coalition airstrikes and ground operations eroded the Taliban’s control of key Afghan cities such as Kabul, Herat,

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37 This discussion of TF-50 is drawn from Jeffrey G. Barlow, “The U.S. Navy’s Role in Coalition Maritime Interception in Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001–2002,” in Gary E. Weir and Sandra J. Doyle, eds., You Cannot Surge Trust: Combined Naval Operations of the Royal Australian Navy, Canadian Navy, Royal Navy, and United States Navy, 1991–2003 (Washington, DC: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2013), 167–188.

38“Oil Ship Sinks, U.S. Sailors Missing in Persian Gulf,” CNN, 18 November 2001, http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/11/18/iraq.oil.ship/index.html.

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Mazar-i-Sharif, and Kandahar. Assessing the effect that these successes could have on al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership, Rear Admiral Thomas E. Zelibor implemented an operational plan during the final week of November 2001 that made maximum use of U.S. and Coalition naval forces to close off sea and air escape routes from southern Pakistan. Referred to alternately as “leadership interdiction operations” or “leadership interception operations” (both of which were abbreviated as LIO), these actions involved querying, stopping, visiting, boarding, and searching vessels suspected of moving terrorists, particularly terrorist leaders.39 Ships carrying Pakistani migrants seeking work in the United Arab Emirates and Oman were of special concern for the Navy and its Coalition partners owing to their potential for transporting terrorists. LIO patrols commenced in the Gulf of Oman on 23 November and in the North Arabian Sea six days later.  Princeton (CG-59) and aircraft from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) accomplished some of the first LIO missions near Gwadar, off the southwestern coast of Pakistan.40

Despite their obvious similarities, separate rules of engagement distinguished LIO from MIO. LIO rules of engagement allowed Coalition warships to query and board non-flagged vessels they reasonably suspected of transporting terrorists. Rules of engagement for U.S. ship commanders, authorized by NAVCENT, permitted the use of disabling fire to halt suspicious vessels and to search or seize non-government vessels based on actionable intelligence.41 Allied analysts alerted NAVCENT leadership to particular ships they suspected of smuggling terrorists and illegal weapons via al-Qaeda infiltration routes.

Sailors and aviators carrying out interception operations executed both compliant and non-compliant boardings of suspect ships. The first instance of a non-compliant boarding

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39Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 199–200.

40Mark L. Evans and Roy A. Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 2 vols. (Washington, DC: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015), 1: 546.

41 Barlow, “U.S. Navy’s Role in Coalition Maritime Interception,” 178.

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jpeg showing two HH-60H Seahawk helicopters from the Dragon Slayers of  Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron One One (HS-11) lift off from the flight deck of USS Shreveport.

appears to have occurred in early December 2001, when SH-60F and HH-60H Seahawk helicopters detached from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) intercepted a container ship, M/V Kota Sejarah, off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan. The Seahawks intercepted the ship and flew armed observation and cover as they guided two boatloads of SEALs deployed from Shreveport (LPD-12), which boarded and stopped the vessel and mustered her 22 crewmembers. Shreveport quickly deployed 71 additional Marines, explosive ordnance disposal sailors, and SEALs for security and search. The raid force detained Kota Sejarah for two days, although inspectors could not locate suspected al-Qaeda fighters or weapons.42

Conventional naval forces conducting MIO during Operation Enduring Freedom frequently collaborated with special operations forces, particularly when intelligence officers and staffers had reason to believe that certain vessels were carrying al-Qaeda leaders. Shreveport (LPD-12) deployed SEAL Team 8 as well as Special Boat Unit 20 during a nighttime boarding of M/V El Obeid in the North Arabian Sea on 13 January 2002. Two HH-60H Seahawk helicopters from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 11 and HS-8 on board Shreveport provided both sniper and AGM-114B Hellfire missile coverage for the special operators, who boarded, seized, and inspected the vessel. Maritime interdiction personnel from Elliot (DD-967) reinforced the boarding party.43

As interception operations intensified and the number of Coalition ships committed to OEF increased, NAVCENT formally established a multinational task force in February 2002. Focused solely on interdicting terrorists and their resources at sea, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150’s area of responsibility encompassed the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa, and

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42 TF 58 Command Chronology, Part 3, p. 91; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 145.

43 TF 58 Command Chronology, 102; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 390; William T. Baker and Mark L. Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” Naval Aviation News 85.5 (July–August 2003): 28; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 550.

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Somalia Basin, as well as the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz. This expansive area covered more than 2.4 million square miles of coastline bordering 12 countries. Initially commanded by a U.S. naval officer, Rear Admiral Christopher C. Ames embarked in Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), CTF-150 operated subsequently under the command of Coalition flag officers. Coalition partners such as France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain contributed leadership, ships, and aircraft to the task force.44

U.S. and allied naval forces conducting MIO within the NAVCENT/Fifth Fleet area of responsibility maintained pressure on terrorist networks and countered illicit movement of weapons, people, and other materials. By March 2002, more than 7,244 queries were made and 47 ships boarded.45  Several months later, these operations were redesignated “expanded maritime interception operations” when President George W. Bush authorized European Command (EUCOM) as well as CENTCOM to interdict terrorists and their material resources at sea.46 Although some complications arose at times from divergent rules of engagement as well as national limitations on the specific types of missions naval vessels could perform at the operational level, multinational naval forces worked together effectively to advance the shared priorities of the nascent Global War on Terrorism.

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44 Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 201; Schneller, Anchor of Resolve, 100; Greg Nash and David Stevens, Australia’s Navy in the Gulf: From Countenance to Catalyst, 1941–2006 (Silverwater: Topmill, 2006), 50–52.

45 Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 200.

46 Schneller, Anchor of Resolve, 101.

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Conclusion

The intense opening phases of OEF, in which U.S. and Coalition forces achieved the collapse of the Taliban regime and drove al-Qaeda from its established base of operations in Afghanistan, included an important naval and maritime component. The U.S. Navy contributed decisively to the downfall of the Taliban and the devastation of al-Qaeda, projecting immense combat power beyond the littoral regions and demonstrating remarkable operational flexibility. The men and women of the Navy confirmed the ability of 21st-century U.S. naval forces to rapidly deploy, organize for combat, and perform an array of missions across the warfare continuum in support of national priorities.

            Operation Enduring Freedom validated, in at least some appraisals, the Navy’s post–Cold War focus on precision strike and network-centric operations, as well as the necessity of aircraft carriers in a way not seen in many decades.47  The capabilities of aircraft carriers and their accompanying strike groups provided a level of access and on-demand reach that did not require host-nation support. The Navy’s amphibious capabilities enabled the rapid deployment of forces directly from the sea to objectives deep inland, showing that amphibious flexibility is one of the chief strategic assets that a sea-based force can possess. Multifaceted U.S. and Coalition maritime interception operations became a key tool in the escalating War on Terrorism, preventing the potentially catastrophic threats posed by transnational terrorist movement and the illicit transport of weapons and related materiel.

            In distinct ways, the Navy’s multifaceted participation in OEF set the stage for its involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), which a U.S.-led Coalition launched in March 2003.48  Although the OIF naval effort built on the experience of 12 years of operations in the

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47 See, for instance, Peter D. Haynes, Toward a New Maritime Strategy: American Naval Thinking in the Post–Cold War Era (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2015), 151–152.

48 Anthony H. Cordesman, The Iraq War: Strategy, Tactics, and Military Lessons (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press, 2003).

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Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea, the men and women of the Navy applied the immediate experiences and operational lessons of OEF in the fast-paced military campaign that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in just three weeks.

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Select Chronology

This chronology highlights significant events relating to the U.S. Navy’s participation in the opening phases of Operation Enduring Freedom. Earlier entries concerning the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath provide background to and highlight the stages of development of subsequent events. These background entries serve to supply a sense of context and connection between events.

     The chronology aims to provide readers with a near daily progression of the major activities of U.S. and allied naval forces during the initial military response to 9/11. It is not, however, a comprehensive timeline of every operational action, command directive, or ship movement. The events detailed here offer a glimpse of how the first global conflict of the 21st century impacted the men and women of the U.S. Navy and how they, in turn, influenced the course of this multifaceted conflict.

     The source base comprises unclassified archival records of the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as unclassified reports, press releases, defense analyses, book chapters, and monographs. Because the vast majority of Navy operational records from the past several decades remain classified or belong to the respective combatant commands, research for this chronology was confined to unclassified primary and secondary sources readily accessible at the Naval History and Heritage Command, Marine Corps History Division, Pentagon Library, and Library of Congress. Owing to source limitations, information regarding the operations of submarines—equipped with cruise missiles and outfitted for special operations—appears with far less frequency than that concerning aircraft carrier battle groups or amphibious ready groups. All errors and omissions are solely those of the author.

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2001

11 September             Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists fly two hijacked passenger airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the World Trade Center in New York City, and a third, American Airlines Flight 77, into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 93, crashes in southwestern Pennsylvania after passengers attempt to subdue the hijackers. Subsequently referred to as 9/11, the unprecedented attacks claim the lives of more than 3,000 people. 49

11 September             Atlantic Fleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Robert J. Natter dispatches aircraft carriers John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and George Washington (CVN-73) to New York City, with their respective Carrier Air Wings (CVWs) 7 and 17, to provide coastal and air defense as well as a visible stabilizing presence. Other sortied ships include cruisers Leyte Gulf (CG-55), Monterey (CG-61), Hué City (CG-66), Vicksburg (CG-69), and Vella Gulf (CG-72), destroyers Ramage (DDG-61) and Ross (DDG-71), and fast combat support ship Detroit (AOE-4). Vella Gulf assumes duties as North Eastern Air Defense Commander, for which she establishes tactical data links and radar coverage and helps coordinate fighter combat air patrols over Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and Constellation (CV-64) Carrier Battle Groups (CVBGs) are deployed to protect air and sea approaches to the West Coast. Admiral Natter also activates Mercy-class hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) to assist with rescue and relief efforts in New York.50

11 September             Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command as well as Commander Fifth Fleet, orders the formation of a multi-carrier battle force in the North Arabian Sea under the command of Rear Admiral Thomas E. Zelibor. Carrier Group 3 becomes the core command of what is subsequently designated TF-50.51

11 September             The Enterprise (CVN-65) Carrier Battle Group, underway and approaching the end of a six-month deployment in the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Southern Watch, is ordered to steam for the North Arabian Sea. Known as “Big E,” Enterprise carries Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, consisting of 70 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. She is escorted by the frigate Nicholas (FFG-55), cruisers Philippine Sea (CG-58) and Gettysburg (CG-64), and destroyers McFaul (DDG-74), Gonzales (DDG-66), Stout (DDG-55), and Nicholson

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49Tom Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Chronology and Reference Guide (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2012), 23–27; Stephen Holmes, “Al-Qaeda, September 11, 2001,” in Diego Gambetta, ed., Making Sense of Suicide Missions, updated ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 131–172. For a detailed narrative of events on the morning of 11 September 2001, see National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report (Boston: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), 278–323.

50 2001 Command Operations Report, George Washington (CVN-73), Naval History and Heritage Command [hereafter NHHC] Archives, 5; Lisa Troshinsky, “Missing Navy Personnel Named,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.37 (17 September 2001): 1; Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-1991-2001.html; Gary E. Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, from September 11th, 2001 to September 30th, 2002,” unpublished working paper, 3.

51John Garstka, Kimberly Holloman, Christine W. Balisle, Mark Adkins, and Jon Kruse, “Network Centric Operations (NCO) Case Study: U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet Task Force 50 in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM,” U.S. Department of Defense Technical Report (2006), 6.

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(DD-982). Also in company with the battle group are attack submarines Providence (SSN-719) and Jacksonville (SSN-699), underway replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO-194), and combat stores ship USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3). An amphibious ready group (ARG) centered on Kearsarge (LHD-3), Ponce (LPD-15), and Tortuga (LSD-46) is attached to the CVBG. The Kearsarge ARG carries the 2,100-member 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the aviation unit of which comprises six AV-8B Harrier vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft, and 12 CH-46 Sea Knight, four CH-53E Super Stallion, four AH-1W Super Cobra, and three UH-1N Huey helicopters.52

11 September             Carl Vinson (CVN-70) CVBG, near the southern tip of India and inbound to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, is ordered to the North Arabian Sea. Carl Vinson carries CVW-11, consisting of 70 fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft. She is escorted by guided missile cruisers Antietam (CG-54) and Princeton (CG-59), guided missile destroyers O’Kane (DDG-77) and John Paul Jones (DDG-53), and destroyer O’Brien (DD-975). The force is also accompanied by attack submarines Key West (SSN-722) and Olympia (SSN-717), and fast combat support ship Sacramento (AOE-1). An ARG centered on Peleliu (LHA-5), Comstock (LSD-45), and Dubuque (LPD-8) is attached to the battle group. The Peleliu ARG carries the 2,100-member 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) out of Camp Pendleton, California, the aviation unit of which comprises six AV-8B Harrier vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft, and 12 CH-46 Sea Knight, four CH-53E Super Stallion, four AH-1W Super Cobra, and three UH-1N Huey helicopters.53

11 September             Military Sealift Command activates Mercy-class hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), to assist with relief efforts in New York City.54

12 September             Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld requests “credible military options” for strikes against the planners of the 9/11 attacks.55

12 September             United Nations Security Council passes Resolution 1368, unequivocally condemning “in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks” on the United States.56

12 September             North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) North Atlantic Council declares that “if it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United

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52 Samuel Loring Morison, “The American Eagle Sharpens Its Talons,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.39 (1 October 2001): 3; Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 18.

53 Morison, “The American Eagle Sharpens Its Talons,” 3; Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 9–10; Grant, Battle-Tested, 24.

54 “Navy Hospital Ship to Support NYC,” MSC PAO 01-39, http://www.msc.navy.mil/publications/pressrel/press01/press39.htm.

55 “Frontline Interview with General Tommy Franks,” PBS Online Archive, 12 June 2002, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/campaign/interviews/franks.html.

56“Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms’, Terrorist Attacks on United States,” SC/7143, http://www.un.org/press/en/2001/SC7143.doc.htm.

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States,” it will be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which states that an armed attack against one or more members shall be considered an attack against all.57

12 September             The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), on a scheduled port visit to Darwin, Australia, rapidly concludes training and departs for U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.58

12 September             Mercy-class hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) gets underway from her berth in Baltimore, Maryland, carrying approximately 150 Sailors from the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, and other East Coast medical commands, as well as her full complement of civilian mariners.59

13 September             U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, informs his staff that access to Afghanistan and sustainment of U.S. forces there will rely heavily on inter-theater lift, and that the landlocked nature of the country may preclude the use of amphibious forces.60

14 September–1 October      USNS Comfort, with a crew of 61 civilian mariners and 730 Navy medical and support personnel, moors at Pier 92 in Manhattan, New York City, and provides meals, housing, and medical and psychological services to relief workers and volunteers at the focal point of the 11 September terrorist attacks, called Ground Zero.61

14 September             Congress passes a joint resolution (S.J.Res.23) authorizing President George W. Bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”62

14 September             The Navy receives $3.8 billion from H.R. 2888, which provides a $40 billion appropriation for national security measures.63

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57 “Statement by the North Atlantic Council,” NATO Press Release 124 (2001), http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-124e.htm.

58 United States Marine Corps [hereafter USMC], Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Combat Development Command, 2003), 50; 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 31 December 2001), USMC Archives, HD/GRC Quantico, Box 2174, 15th MEU C/C July–Dec 2001, 3–1.

59 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 4.

60 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 371.

61 “Navy Hospital Ship Underway to Aid New York Rescue Effort,” http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44903.

62 S.J.Res.23–Authorization for Use of Military Force, https://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/23.

63 William T. Baker and Mark L. Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” Naval Aviation News 84.5 (July–August 2002): 38.

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14 September U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, presents a sequence of related military options to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: immediate retaliation with Navy cruise missiles, followed by a 10-day air war employing USAF bombers and Navy strike aircraft, followed by the deployment of joint special operations forces.64

14 September U.S. Central Command begins coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Secretary of State, and the Joint Staff to establish rules of engagement (ROE) and ensure airspace defense over U.S. personnel and equipment in the planned area of operations.65

14 September President George W. Bush approves a request by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to call up to 50,000 reservists to active duty. The Department of the Navy anticipates mobilizing approximately 3,000 reservists.66

15–17 September The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conduct humanitarian assistance operations in East Timor.67

15 September President George W. Bush convenes a “war cabinet” meeting at Camp David, Maryland, to review national security developments and discuss options for a military response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The consensus is to negotiate with the Taliban, attack al-Qaeda, and then address other state sponsors of terrorism at a time of the administration’s choosing. President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld conclude that military options presented by General Henry H. Shelton, USA, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are obsolete and that the Department of Defense should pursue unconventional approaches.68

15 September USNS Denebola (T-AKR-289), an Algol-class vehicle cargo ship berthed at Staten Island, New York, hosts 65 New York firefighters on board, many of whom had been on duty at the World Trade Center site for more than 48 continuous hours. Denebola also begins providing berthing and shower facilities to Navy and Coast Guard personnel, as well as to those from the Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, New York Police Department, New Jersey National Guard, and other disaster relief agencies and search and rescue teams.69

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64 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 34–39.

65 Walter L. Perry and David Kassing, Toppling the Taliban: Air-Ground Operations in Afghanistan, October 2001–June 2002 (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2015), 30–31.

66 “Partial Mobilization of National Guard, Reserves Authorized,” DoD News Release No. 426-01, 14 September 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3040.

67 USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 50; 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 31 December 2001), 3-1.

68 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 371.

69 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 15; “Navy Ship Lends Helping Hand in Staten Island,” MSC PAO 01-47, http://www.msc.navy.mil/publications/pressrel/press01/press47.htm.

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15 September             Guided-missile destroyer John Paul Jones (DDG-53) and guided-missile cruiser Antietam (CG-54) transit the Strait of Hormuz, en route to the Persian Gulf.70

17–30 September       F-14 Tomcat fighters from Enterprise (CVN-65) fly reconnaissance missions over southern Afghanistan, capturing high-level images of airfields, surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery sites, military barracks, and al-Qaeda training camps. EP-3E Aries II reconnaissance aircraft fly along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, together with Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint and U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft, gathering electronic signals intelligence on the Taliban and al-Qaeda. F-14s from Enterprise and Carl Vinson (CVN-70) also fly combat air patrols to protect Air Force E-3D Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft conducting round-the-clock reconnaissance orbits over Pakistan.71

17 September             U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, issues the planning order for Operation Infinite Justice.72

17 September             The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group—consisting of Bataan (LHD-5), Shreveport (LPD-12), and Whidbey Island (LSD-41)—embarks elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) at Naval Station Norfolk and steams for Moorehead City, North Carolina.73

18 September             President George W. Bush signs S.J.Res.23, “Authorization for Use of Military Force,” into law.74

18 September             Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Henry H. Shelton, USA, issues the initial deployment order for Operation Infinite Justice.75

18 September             Crewmembers on board the nuclear-powered attack submarine Connecticut (SSN-22) successfully launch a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) while submerged in the Navy’s Atlantic sea ranges east of Jacksonville, Florida. The launch marks the first time a TLAM is launched from a Seawolf-class submarine.76

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70 2001 Command History, John Paul Jones (DDG-53), NHHC Archives, 6; 2001 Command History, Antietam (CG-54), NHHC Archives, 5.

71 Tim Ripley, Air War Afghanistan: US and NATO Air Operations from 2001 (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2011), 39.

72 United States Marine Corps, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 50.

73 2001 Command History, Bataan (LHD-5), NHHC Archives, 5.

74 “Bush Signs Use of Force Resolution,” http://insidedefense.com/content/bush-signs-use-force-resolution; Richard F. Grimmett, Authorization for Use of Military Force in Response to the 9/11 Attacks (P.L. 107-40): A Legislative History (CRS Report No. RS22357) (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2007), 4–5.

75 USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 50.

76 “Navy Test-Fires Tomahawk Missile from Seawolf Sub,” http://insidedefense.com/defensealert/navy-test-fires-tomahawk-missile-seawolf-sub.

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19 September             The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Carrier Battle Group deploys from Naval Station Norfolk with its embarked carrier air wing, CVW-1. Theodore Roosevelt is escorted by destroyer Peterson (DD-969), guided-missile frigate Carr (FFG-55), and guided-missile cruiser Leyte Gulf (CG-55). She is also accompanied by the nuclear-powered attack submarines Hartford (SSN-761) and Springfield (SSN-768), fast combat support ship Detroit (AOE-4), and combat stores ship USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10). An amphibious ready group (ARG) centered on Bataan (LHD-5), Shreveport (LPD-12), and Whidbey Island (LSD-41) is attached to the carrier battle group. The Bataan ARG carries the 2,100-member 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.77

19 September             The Peleliu (LHA-5) ARG receives a warning order to begin planning for non-combatant evacuation operations in Pakistan.78

20 September             In remarks to reporters at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld states that the war on terrorism will be “a marathon, not a sprint” and that victory will be achieved only when Americans “are satisfied they can live their lives in relative freedom and have the kinds of linkages with the rest of the world that we feel are so central to our well-being.”79

20 September             President George W. Bush addresses a joint session of Congress on the impending U.S. military response to the 9/11 attacks, singling out Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist network as those responsible. The President also demands that the Taliban immediately hand over al-Qaeda leaders to U.S. authorities or “share in their fate.”80

20 September             The Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, declares that the Taliban has no intention of yielding to American pressure to give up Osama bin Laden, asserting that it would be an “insult to Islam” to extradite Bin Laden.81

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77 “Navy Secretary’s Speech on Deployment of Amphibious Ready Group,” 19 September 2001, http://insidedefense.com/content/navy-secretarys-speech-deployment-amphibious-ready-group; Samuel Loring Morison, “Naval Power Gathers in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.38 (24 September 2001): 3; Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 20.

78 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 3-1.

79 “Rumsfeld: War on Terrorism Will Be a Marathon, Not a Sprint,” http://insidedefense.com/defensealert/rumsfeld-war-terrorism-will-be-marathon-not-sprint.

80 “Bush Addresses Joint Session of Congress on U.S. Response to Terrorist Attacks,” http://insidedefense.com/content/bush-addresses-joint-session-congress-us-response-terrorist-attacks; “US Prepares for Long War as Taliban Close Path to Peace,” The Guardian, 20 September 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/sep/20/afghanistan.september113; “Bush talks of a ‘different kind of war’,” The Guardian, 21 September 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/sep/21/afghanistan.september1113.

81 “Taliban Rule Out Giving Up Bin Laden,” 21 September 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/sep/22/afghanistan.terrorism1.

 

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20 September             The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group embarks the remaining elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in Moorehead City, North Carolina, and gets underway for the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.82

20 September             More than 40 members of the U.S. Senate visit USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) in New York, including Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).83

21 September             Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark and Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones meet with U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, and assure him of their full support.84

21 September             Vella Gulf (CG-72), with Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 Detachment 5 embarked, deploys from Naval Station Norfolk, to rendezvous with the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Carrier Battle Group.85

21 September             Kitty Hawk (CV-63) gets underway from Fleet Activities Yokosuka in preparation for sea trials in the Philippine Sea.86

21 September             Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives—Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), and Rep. Ed Schrock (R-VA)—send a letter to Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England asking him to ensure that Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark takes all necessary steps to support the Coast Guard’s Deepwater Project, a multi-billion dollar venture to recapitalize its frigate-like cutters, ocean-going patrol boats, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and associated communications and sensor systems. According to the letter, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Deepwater Project “has enormous potential to support national defense requirements for Homeland Security and expeditionary littoral operations.”87

22 September             Kitty Hawk (CV-63) commences sea trials in the Philippine Sea.88

24 September             Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark and Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones forward a joint memorandum to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, describing their ability to provide an “integrated Navy–Marine Corps Maritime Strike Force” consisting of a carrier battle group and an amphibious ready group.89

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82 2001 Command History, Bataan (LHD-5), NHHC Archives, 5; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 372.

83 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 12; “Senators Visit USNS Comfort in NYC,” MSC PAO 01-62, http://www.msc.navy.mil/publications/pressrel/press01/press62.htm.

84 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 40.

85 Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-1991-2001.html.

86 2001 Command History, Kitty Hawk (CV-63), NHHC Archives, 5.

87 “Text: Congressional Letter on Deepwater Program,” http://insidedefense.com/inside-navy/text-congressional-letter-deepwater-program.

88 2001 Command History, Kitty Hawk (CV-63), NHHC Archives, 5.

89 “CNO/CMC Memo to SECDEF, 24 SEP 01,” quoted in Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 40.

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24 September             President George W. Bush reports to Congress that, in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he has ordered the “deployment of various combat-equipped and combat support forces to a number of foreign nations in the Central and Pacific Command areas of operations.” The President also notes that in efforts to “prevent and deter terrorism,” he may find it necessary “to order additional forces into these and other areas of the world.”90

24 September             President George W. Bush signs an executive order that freezes the financial assets of and prohibits United States transactions with 27 different entities, including terrorist organizations, individual terrorist leaders, and dubious commercial and nonprofit organizations.91

25 September             The Department of Defense’s nascent military response to the 9/11 attacks, initially code-named Operation Infinite Justice, is renamed Operation Enduring Freedom. Activities to sustain homeland defense and civil support are designated Operation Noble Eagle.92

25 September             U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, issues the operations order for Operation Enduring Freedom.93

25 September             Approximately 835 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush.94

25 September             Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark postpones the Naval War College’s 16th International Seapower Symposium, which had been scheduled for the last week of October 2001, “due to the terrorist attacks and the rapid pace of current events unfolding.”95

26 September             Approximately 635 additional members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 1,470.96

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90 Barbara Salazar Torreon, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798–2016 (CRS Report No. R42738) (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2016), 20.

91 “U.S. Goes After Assets of Terrorism Supporters,” CBC News, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-goes-after-assets-of-terrorism-supporters-1.261145.

92 “Rumsfeld Renames War on Terrorism,” http://insidedefense.com/content/rumsfeld-renames-war-terrorism; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 38.

93 USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 50.

94 “More National Guard, Reserve Units Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 455-01, 25 September 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3062.

95 “Following Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks, Navy Postpones International Symposium,” http://insidedefense.com/defensealert/following-sept-11-terrorist-attacks-navy-postpones-international-symposium.

96 “More Air Force and Naval Reserve Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 460-01, 26 September 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3066.

29 

27 September             Kitty Hawk (CVN-63), stationed at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, receives notification of deployment to serve as an afloat forward staging base from which Special Operations Forces teams will be staged into Afghanistan. To accommodate and support the special operators, the Kitty Hawk Carrier Battle Group reconfigures from an average of 8,000 Sailors, ten ships, and 72 aircraft to 4,000 Sailors, three ships, and 15 aircraft (eight F/A-18C Hornets, three S-3B Vikings, two C-2A Greyhounds, and two SH-60B Seahawks).97

28 September             The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) arrives in U.S. Central Command area of operations and is reassigned under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet. The ARG takes up station off the coast of Pakistan.98

28 September             Approximately 250 additional members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty, bringing the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to nearly 1,720.99

29 September             Kitty Hawk (CV-63) concludes sea trials in the Philippine Sea and steams for Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.100

30 September             The first American flag raised over the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York is hoisted aboard Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).101

1 October                   The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) arrives in U.S. European Command area of operations and reports to U.S. Naval Forces Europe–Africa/Sixth Fleet. Command elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC) conduct a face-to-face turnover with the 24th MEU (SOC) aboard Kearsarge (LHD-3). 24th MEU (SOC) assumes duties as the Amphibious Ready Force and begins the transatlantic journey back to the continental United States.102

1 October                   The Kitty Hawk (CV-63) Carrier Battle Group deploys for U.S. Central Command area of operations from Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, without her full air wing complement. Kitty Hawk carries only eight F/A-18C Hornets, mainly to provide air defense for her battle group. She is escorted by cruisers Vincennes (CG-49) and Chancellorsville (CG-63), destroyers Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) and Cushing (DD-985), frigate Gary (FFG-51), and supported by underway replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204).103

__________

97 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 540.

98 USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 49; 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 31 December 2001), 3-1.

99 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 469-01, 28 September 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3073.

100 2001 Command History, Kitty Hawk (CV-63), NHHC Archives, 5.

101 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 38.

102 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 11; 24th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 7; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 372.

103 2001 Command History, Kitty Hawk (CV-63), NHHC Archives, 5; Benjamin S. Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2005), 10; Samuel Loring Morison, “Naval Power Gathers in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18, no. 38 (24 September 2001): 3; Samuel Loring Morison, “The American Eagle Sharpens Its Talons,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18, no. 39 (1 October 2001): 3.

30 

1 October                   Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark designates Admiral Robert J. Natter, Commander-in-Chief of Atlantic Fleet as concurrent Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, a new command responsible for overall coordination, establishment, and implementation of integrated requirements and policies for manning, equipping, and training Atlantic and Pacific Fleet units during the inter-deployment training cycle.104

1 October                   USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) gets underway from Pier 92 in New York Harbor. Just prior to her departure, the mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, thanks the crew over the ship’s sound system “on behalf of a grateful New York.” Onlookers on the pier cheer and wave as harbor tugs maneuver the ship into the Hudson River.105

1 October                   Approximately 170 additional members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty, bringing the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to around 1,890.106

2 October                   North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Lord George Robertson announces that U.S. investigators have provided “clear and compelling” evidence of Osama bin Laden’s responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Lord Robertson also says that this decision means that NATO’s Article 5, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all, is now “fully invoked.”107

2 October                   The four-phase plan for Operation Enduring Freedom by U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, receives final approval from President George W. Bush.108

2 October                   The Marine Air Control Group of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) deploys Stinger missile teams to each ship of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group to support emergency defense of amphibious task force contingencies for the Strait of Gibraltar transit.109

__________ 

104 “A Brief History of U.S. Fleet Forces Command,” http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/Pages/history.aspx.

105 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 15.

106 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 473-01, 1 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3076.

107 “NATO: Bin Laden behind Attack”, http://www.upi.com/Archives/2001/10/02/NATO-bin-Laden-behind-attack/4971001995200/; “‘Conclusive Evidence’ Bin Laden was behind Attacks,” The Guardian, 2 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/02/afghanistan.terrorism10.

108 John R. Ballard, David W. Lamm, and John K. Wood, From Kabul to Baghdad and Back: The U.S. at War in Afghanistan and Iraq (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2012), 36.

109 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 11.

31 

2 October                   Approximately 230 additional members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to approximately 2,120.110

4–7 October               As the hour to begin operations approaches, P-3C Orions conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flights over Afghanistan, while F/A-18C Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15—embarked aboard Enterprise (CVN-65)—fly combat air patrols over Pakistan. The enormous distances involved will necessitate the subsequent establishment of forward operating bases and forward arming and refueling points ashore in Afghanistan and Pakistan.111

4 October                   North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) approves specific U.S. requests for military and logistical support in the war against terrorism, reviewing evidence of Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The support measures, which will be taken “individually and collectively,” include the provision of NATO’s 17 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) early warning aircraft as well as the deployment of ships from the Alliance’s Standing Naval Force to the eastern Mediterranean.112

4 October                   In preparation for the imminent Operation Enduring Freedom air campaign, Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) -3 and -6 are designated the Navy’s combat search and rescue (CSAR) alert package for the North Arabian Sea. The Navy receives initial responsibility for all CSAR operations in Pakistan south of latitude 28 degrees north and all overwater search and rescue actions.113

4 October                   Colonel Anthony P. Frick, commander of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), conducts a coordination meeting for Exercise Bright Star aboard Bataan (LHD-5).114

4 October                   USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) docks in Baltimore, Maryland, and is returned to reduced operating status.115

4 October                   One hundred thirty additional members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 2,250.116

__________

110 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 478-01, 2 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3079.

111 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 38.

112 “NATO Approves Military Support for US,” The Guardian, 4 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/04/afghanistan.terrorism6.

113 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 540.

114 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 11.

115 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 15.

116 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 488-01, 4 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3087.

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5 October                   The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group embarks pararescuemen and three Sikorsky MH-53J Pave Low III helicopters from the Air Force’s 20th Special Operations Squadron.117

6 October                   Ships and aircraft of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Standing Naval Force, Mediterranean, begin patrols in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in support of the war on terrorism.118

6 October                   The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group passes Sigonella, Italy, and offloads the Bright Star Advanced Party.119

7 October                   Operation Enduring Freedom officially commences.120

7 October                   Enterprise (CVN-65) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70) launch 25 F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18C Hornets striking targets in Afghanistan in and around Kabul, Herat, Shindand, Shibarghan, Mazar-i-Sharif, and the southern Taliban stronghold of Kandahar with laser guided bombs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions, the AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile–Extended Range, and the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon. Strike aircraft are supported by accompanying F-14 and F/A-18 fighter sweeps and by electronic jamming of Taliban radar and communications transmissions by EA-6B Prowlers. Air operations are further supported by an elaborate inflight refueling scheme, with carrier-based S-3 tankers orbiting off the coast of Pakistan to top off inbound Navy strike aircraft just before the latter proceed to their holding stations over Afghanistan. Strike missions from Enterprise and Carl Vinson entail distances to target of 600 nautical miles or more, with an average sortie length of over four and a half hours and a minimum of two inflight refuelings each way.121

7 October                   Fixed high-priority targets in Afghanistan are struck by 50 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles launched from destroyers McFaul (DDG-74), John Paul Jones (DDG-53), and O’Brien (DD-975), cruiser Philippine Sea (CG-58), and attack submarine Providence (SSN-719), as well as from two British submarines, HMS Triumph and HMS Trafalgar.122

__________

117 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 47.

118 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 541.

119 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 11.

120 Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 78–80; Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 12; “Allies Unleash Their Firepower,” The Guardian, 7 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/afghanistan.terrorism5.

121“Allies Unleash Their Firepower,” The Guardian, 7 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/afghanistan.terrorism5; Samuel Loring Morrison, “The Military Phase of the Fight Against Terrorism Begins,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18 (15 October 2001): 3.

122 “Missiles Fired from British Subs,” The Guardian, 8 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/september11.afghanistan; “Blair Confirms British Role in Attacks,” The Guardian, 7 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/07/afghanistan.terrorism10; “The Bombing Begins,” The Guardian, 8 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/politics.september11; “British Launch Tomahawk Missiles as Part of Strikes on Afghanistan,” Defense Daily 212.7, 10 October 2001).

33 

7 October                   Peleliu (LHA-5) deploys elements of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and a Navy SEAL detachment for an airfield security and tactical recovery mission to Jacobabad, Pakistan, in support of Air Force combat search and rescue teams.123

7 October                   In a televised address to the nation, President George W. Bush states: “On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.”124

7 October                   While transiting the Strait of Malacca en route to the Indian Ocean, Kitty Hawk (CV-63), Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54), and Gary (FFG-51) rescue five Indonesians from a sinking 40-foot fishing vessel.125

7 October                   The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begin a two-day safety stand-down to provide in-country briefs to Sailors and Marines participating in Exercise Bright Star and to prepare vehicles and equipment going ashore for the exercise.126

8 October                   Ten F/A-18C Hornets and F-14A Tomcats from Enterprise (CVN-65) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70) execute air strikes against roughly 13 targets around Kabul, Kandahar and Herat in the northern provinces around Mazar-i-Sharif.

8 October                   McFaul (DDG-74) and John Paul Jones (DDG-53) launch approximately 15 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles against high-priority fixed targets in Afghanistan.127

8 October                   President George W. Bush established the Office of Homeland Security to develop and coordinate a national strategy to protect the United States from terrorism. Naval aviation early warning and intelligence aircraft subsequently receive tasking for integration into the plan.128

__________ 

123 TF 58 Command Chronology, 71; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 47, 372.

124 “Text: Bush Announces Strikes Against Taliban,” Washington Post, 08 October 2001, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/bushaddress_100801.htm; Patrick E. Tyler, “U.S. and Britain Strike Afghanistan, Aiming at Bases and Terrorist Camps; Bush Warns ‘Taliban Will Pay a Price,’” New York Times, 8 October 2001; “Bush Announces Start of Onslaught,” The Guardian, 7 October 2001, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/07/afghanistan.terrorism7.

125 Kitty Hawk (CV-63), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/k/kitty-hawk-cva-63-ii.html.

126 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 11.

127 S. L. Morison, “The Military Phase of the Fight Against Terrorism Begins,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.41 (15 Oct. 2001): 3; 2001 Command History, John Paul Jones (DDG-53), NHHC Archives, 7.

128 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 541.

34

8 October                    Essex Amphibious Ready Group—consisting of Essex (LHD-2), Germantown (LSD-42), and Fort McHenry (LSD-43)—and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) commence integrated training, contingency planning, and humanitarian assistance operations in support of United States Support Group East Timor.129

9 October                    President George W. Bush reports to Congress that on 7 October 2001, U.S. armed forces “began combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaida terrorists and their Taliban supporters,” stating that he had directed military action in response to the 11 September attacks on American “territory, our citizens, and our way of life, and to the continuing threat of terrorist acts against the United States and our friends and allies.” 130

9 October                    Approximately 15 carrier-based Navy strike aircraft attack multiple targets in Afghanistan, including air defense sites and airfields at Herat and Kandahar, as well as a re-strike on a garrison near Mazar-i-Sharif. Fighter Squadron (VF) 14, from Carrier Air Wing 8 on board Enterprise (CVN-65), leads the first long-range tactical air strike, flying more than 1,700 nautical miles round trip to Mazar-i-Sharif, where two F-14B Tomcats destroy aircraft and troops transports on the ground. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to Navy aircraft, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties. 131

9 October                    The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group conducts emergency defense of amphibious task force planning for training operations off the coast of Egypt. 132

9 October                    An additional 100 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to approximately 2,350. 133

10 October                  Carrier-based Navy strike aircraft attack numerous targets, while Royal Air Force tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support. Fast attack submarine Providence (SSN-719) launches three Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles at “emerging targets of opportunity” inside Afghanistan, including a surface-to-air missile storage facility near Kandahar and a terrorist training camp near Jalalabad.134

__________

 129 31st MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 5.

  130Barbara Salazar Torreon, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798–2016 (CRS Report No. R42738) (Washington DC: Congressional Research Service, 2016), 20.

  131“Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “Operation Enduring Freedom Update,” DoD News Release No. 503-01, 10 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3099; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 39.

  13226th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 11.

 133 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 498-01, 9 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3095.

  134S. L. Morison, “The Military Phase of the Fight Against Terrorism Begins,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18, no. 41 (15 October 2001): 3; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

35

10 October                 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers, USAF, announces that allied air supremacy over Afghanistan has been established.135

10 October                 The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group arrives off the coast of Egypt and begins offloading 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) elements for Exercise Bright Star.136

10 October                 Navy Personnel Command issues a stop-loss list, affecting more than 9,300 Navy personnel.  The stop-loss freezes discharges and retirements for Navy personnel in critical specialties needed for Operation Enduring Freedom.137

10 October                 The Navy dedicates a memorial at Naval Station Norfolk to the 17 sailors killed on 10 October 2000 in a terrorist attack on guided-missile destroyer Cole (DDG-67) in Aden, Yemen. Admiral Robert J. Natter says in a statement that the memorial is “a fitting tribute to the 17 brave men and women in Cole who gave their lives in service to our country.”138

11 October                 Carrier-based Navy strike aircraft attack several targets, including Taliban vehicle and ordnance depots near Charkh. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to Navy aircraft, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.139

11 October                 NAVADMIN 265/01 outlines the Navy’s stop loss policy and procedures. Among other directives, commands are ordered to encourage Sailors affected by stop loss to voluntarily extend their enlistment or reenlist. If a Sailor has reached the maximum voluntary extension of 48 aggregate months and desires not to reenlist, he or she “will be involuntarily extended by COMNAVPERSCOM (Commander, Naval Personnel Command).”140

__________

135 Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 88.

136 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 12.

137 Christopher Munsey, “Navy Halves List of Sailors Affected by Stop-Loss,” Navy Times, 18 March 2002.

138 “Navy Dedicates Cole Memorial, Oct. 12,” http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44664.

139 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanisanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm

140 NAVADMIN 265/01, http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents2/NAVADMINS2/NAV2001/nav01265.txt.

36 

12 October                 Kitty Hawk (CV-63) arrives on station in the north Arabian Sea and embarks Task Force (TF) Sword at Masirah Island, off Oman. TF-Sword, a composite Army command of more than 600 soldiers, includes Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta and 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). The SOAR initially comprises some 20 helicopters, including MH-47D and MH-47E Chinooks, MH-60K and MH-60L Black Hawks, and Little Birds (either AH-6Js, MH-6Js, or M500s or a combination thereof). Kitty Hawk’s detachment of eight F/A-18C Hornets completes preparations for overland strike operations into Afghanistan.141

12 October                 Since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom five days before, Navy F-14s and F/A-18s have dropped 240 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, 1,000-pound and 2,000-pound laser-guided bombs, and one BLU-109 hard target munition on Taliban and al-Qaeda targets.142

12 October                 The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group completes offloading 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) elements for participation in Exercise Bright Star.143

12 October                 An additional 50 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 2,400.144

13 October                 Navy and Air Force aircraft strike more than 15 targets, including a Taliban command and control facility near Herat. A British submarine launches at least two Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, while Royal Air Force aircraft fly combat support missions.145

13 October                 A Navy F/A-18 Hornet inadvertently drops a 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition on a residential neighborhood in Kabul, almost a mile from its intended target, a military helicopter at a nearby airfield. Four civilians are killed and eight injured in the incident. Preliminary indications suggest that the accident occurred from a targeting process error.146

________ 

141 2001 Command History, Kitty Hawk (CV-63), 6; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 541.

142 William M. Arkin, “A Week of Air War,” Washington Post, 14 October 2001.

143 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 12.

144 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 506-01, 12 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3102.

145 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

146 David A. Fulghum and Robert Wall, “U.S. Stalks Taliban with New Air Scheme,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, 15 October 2001; Lambeth, Air Power against Terror, 100; “JDAM Misses Intended Target in Afghanistan,” DoD News Release No. 509-01, 13 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3104; “U.S. Aircraft Misses Target in Kabul, Afghanistan,” http://insidedefense.com/content/us-aircraft-misses-target-kabul-afghanistan.

37 

14–15 October           As Operation Enduring Freedom enters its second week, Navy aircraft are supported for the first time by Air Force AC-130U Spooky ground-attack aircraft. The momentum of strikes against the Taliban and al-Qaeda increases as the air campaign shifts to support the advance of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance.147

14 October                 About 15 carrier-based Navy strike aircraft and 10 Air Force bombers attack targets near Kandahar, Kabul, and Jalalabad. Fighter Squadron (VF) 14 maximizes forward air control flexibility by configuring five F-14B Tomcats to carry four GBU-12 laser guided munitions each and configuring its remaining Tomcats for two GBU-16s. Royal Air Force tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.148

15 October                 Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) arrives on station in the North Arabian Sea.149

15 October                 A force of 90 Navy strike fighters operating from three carriers—Enterprise (CVN-65), Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and Kitty Hawk (CV-63)—attack targets around Kabul and Kandahar. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.150

16 October                 A force of 85 carrier-based strike fighters, operating in concert with five Air Force heavy bombers and several AC-130 Specter ground-attack gunships, attack targets around Kandahar and Kabul. F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets use AGM-65 laser-guided Maverick missiles and BLU-109 earth-penetrator versions of the 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition against 12 enemy-occupied mountain cave complexes. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.151

__________ 

147 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 39; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 541–542.

148 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 541–542.

149 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 17.

150 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

151 Robert Wall, “Targeting, Weapon Supply Encumber Air Campaign,” Aviation Week and Space Technology (22 October 2001): 26.

38 

16 October                  Joint Staff Deputy Director of Operations for Current Readiness and Capabilities, Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem, announces the use of engagement zone doctrine in Afghanistan, owing to the reduction of enemy air defenses. This concept permits the adoption of “flex targeting” in which aircraft strike a target, refuel in the air, and then strike another target.152

16 October                 During a National Security Council meeting, Central Intelligence Agency officials propose building an airfield and establishing a forward operating base in southern Afghanistan to advance the development of a southern corollary to the Northern Alliance.153

16 October                 Several GBU-16 1,000-pound bombs from a Navy F/A-18 Hornet inadvertently strike one or more warehouses used by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in northern Kabul, Afghanistan. ICRC reports indicate that wheat and other humanitarian supplies stored in the warehouses were destroyed and an Afghan security guard injured.154

17 October                 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announces that the war effort has shifted from primarily attacking fixed targets to seeking out targets of opportunity, such as enemy troop concentrations and vehicles, in designated engagement zones.155

17 October                 Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) launches her first strikes of Operation Enduring Freedom. She makes a concession to Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and shifts her schedule 12 hours to accommodate night operations, allowing the aircraft carriers to maintain round-the-clock combat operations. Reveille is changed to 1800 and taps to 1000.156

17 October                 Navy strike fighters supplemented by Air Force bombers attack targets including Taliban airfields, antiaircraft artillery positions, armored vehicles, ammunition dumps, and a training camp. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to Navy aircraft, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.157

17 October                 An additional 700 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by the President. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 3,100.158

__________ 

152 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 39; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 542.

153 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 373.

154 “US Inadvertently Strikes ICRC Warehouses,” DoD News Release No. 516-01, 16 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3109; “U.S. Inadvertently Strikes Red Cross Warehouses,” http://insidedefense.com/content/us-inadvertently-strikes-red-cross-warehouses.

155 Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 93.

156 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 17; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 40; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 542.

157 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

158 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 519-01, 17 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3111.

39 

18 October                 Rear Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, commander of the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Carrier Battle Group, explains that the air campaign’s strategy has shifted from attacking pre-briefed targets such as airfields, air defense sites, and communication nodes to engaging pop-up targets including tanks and troops in the field.159

18 October                 A section of F/A-18C Hornets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251 serving with Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), conducts the Marine Corps’ first strike mission of Operation Enduring Freedom. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack approximately 18 targets inside Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to Navy and USMC aircraft, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.160

18 October                 A section of two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters launch from Peleliu (LHA-5) to recover a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed during a raid on a Taliban compound the night before.161

18 October                 Another 300 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to approximately 3,400.162

19–21 October           In three consecutive days of Operation Enduring Freedom’s heaviest bombing to date, allied aircraft attack a dozen target sets, including Taliban airfields, antiaircraft artillery positions, armored vehicles, ammunition dumps, and al-Qaeda training camps. The attacks involve some 90 Navy and Marine Corps strike aircraft operating from the three air wings aboard Enterprise (CVN-65), Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Some targets in northern Afghanistan are 750 nautical miles from the carriers with sorties lasting as long as ten hours, often with multiple taskings. These missions make aviation history as the longest-range combat sorties ever flown by carrier-based aircraft.163

19 October                 Carrier-based Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike approximately 15 targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, while RAF surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.

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159 Jim Drinkard, “U.S. Hits Troops Near Kabul,” USA Today, 22 October 2001.

160 VFMA-251 Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 31 December 2001), 6; Eric R. Dent, “T-bolts the First Marines Engaged in War on Terrorism,” Leatherneck 85 (January 2002): 22–23; US Marine Corps, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 48; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 54.

161 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 61–62.

162 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 524-01, 18 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3115.

163 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 13; Robert Wall, “Targeting, Weapon Supply Encumber Air Campaign,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, 22 October 2001, 28.

40 

19 October                  Helicopters lift elements of Task Force Sword (TF-11) from Kitty Hawk (CV-63) to initiate the first American ground offensive of Operation Enduring Freedom. TF-11 special operations forces temporarily seize a remote auxiliary airstrip in Afghanistan’s south-central desert—code-named Objective Rhino—to support a follow-on raid against Mullah Omar’s residence in Kandahar. Navy P-3C Orions support the raid. 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)’s Bald Eagle Force stands by aboard Peleliu (LHA-5),ready to reinforce Army Ranger companies securing portions of Objective Rhino164

19 October                  An Army MH-60K Black Hawk crashes during a night approach to an airfield in Dalbandin, Pakistan, killing two soldiers and injuring five others. On U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s orders, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) launches four CH-53E Super Stallions from Peleliu to recover the Black Hawk. Supporting aircraft include one P-3C Orion, four Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 331 AV-8B Harrier IIs, and a KC-130 Hercules. The recovery force lands at the crash site and rigs slings to enable a Super Stallion to retrieve the helicopter, but the 10-ton weight of the  Black Hawk compels the Super Stallion to jettison needed fuel and then stop at a hastily established forward arming and refueling point in Panjgur, Pakistan. Militants engage the Marines, who return fire and temporarily abandon the damaged helicopter. All recovery aircraft and crewmembers return safely to the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group.165

20 October                  Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike approximately six targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.166

20 October                  Two 500-pound bombs dropped by a Navy F-14 miss targeted Taliban vehicles and land in a residential area northwest of Kabul.167

21 October                  Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack eight targets in Afghanistan, including a command and control facility northwest of Kabul. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.168

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164 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 59; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 40; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 543.

165 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 61–62; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 543; Lambeth, Air Power against Terror, 111; Cesar G. Soriano, “Elite Marine Unit Makes First Strike on Taliban,” USA Today, 5 November 2001.

166 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

167 Andrea Stone, “Pentagon Confirms Errant Bomb Strikes,” USA Today, 29 October 2001; Lambeth, Air Power against Terror, 101.

168 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

41 

21 October                 A Joint Direct Attack Munition dropped by a Navy F/A-18 misses a targeted vehicle storage building near Herat and lands in an open area 300 feet away from a senior citizens’ residence.169

22 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike 11 targets in Afghanistan, including a Taliban barracks at Darulaman, near Kabul. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.170

22 October                 Another 950 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to approximately 4,350.171

23 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike five targets in Afghanistan, including Taliban vehicles near Herat. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.172

23 October                 U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, visits Kitty Hawk (CV-63). “The United States of America owes you a debt,” General Franks tells her Sailors. “Without you, we could not have done what has been done. And without you, we cannot do what we are going to do.”173

23 October                 Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Alford McMichael visit the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group as it conducts an amphibious capabilities demonstration.174

23 October                 Another 300 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by the President. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 4,650.175

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169 Andrea Stone, “Pentagon Confirms Errant Bomb Strikes,” USA Today, 29 October 2001; Lambeth, Air Power against Terror, 101.

170 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

171 “Reserve, National Guard Units Called Up,” DoD News Release No. 533-01, 22 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3122.

172 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

173 “Kitty Hawk Completes Enduring Freedom Deployment,” NNS011226-08, 26 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=481.

174 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 373.

175 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 535-01, 23 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3123.

42

24 October                 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) launches a reinforced tactical recovery force from Peleliu (LHA-5) to Panjgur, Pakistan, in order to recover a previously abandoned Black Hawk helicopter. Working in conjunction with Pakistani security forces, the helicopter is retrieved and delivered to Kitty Hawk (CV-63) without further incident.176

24 October                 Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Alford McMichael visit the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group.177

24 October                 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) concludes participation in Exercise Bright Star and reconstitutes aboard the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.178

25 October                 Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) relieves Enterprise (CVN-65). Prior to her departure from the Arabian Sea, Enterprise unloads most of her remaining ordnance to Theodore Roosevelt. Upon departing U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, Enterprise ends her cruise extension that began immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.179

25 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack numerous targets in Afghanistan, including Taliban antiaircraft guns, tanks, and armored personnel carriers (APCs) near Mazar-i-Sharif. In one instance, a forward air controller passes control of an air strike to Major Brantley Bond, USMC, of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251, flying an F/A-18C Hornet from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Bond destroys at least four antiaircraft guns and drops a 500-pound bomb near a Taliban tank. The attack flushes additional enemy troops, tanks, and APCs from cover, enabling Bond to re-attack them. He guides other aircraft using his forward-looking infrared system to target enemy vehicles with laser illumination. The survivors attempt to flee on foot and in their vehicles, 15 of which are destroyed in follow-on strikes. Bond subsequently receives the Distinguished Flying Cross. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.180

25 October                 USNS Major Bernard F. Fisher (T-AK-4396) off-loads 373 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) of ammunition and five TEUs of flares to Diego Garcia, replenishing stores used by Air Force B-1 and B-52 bombers during attacks against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets.181

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176 Joseph R. Chenelly, “15th MEU (SOC) Recovers Downed U.S. Army Helicopter,” Leatherneck 85 (January 2002): 24–26; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 374; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 111.

177 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 373.

178 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 14.

179 2001 Command Operations Report, Enterprise (CVN-65), NHHC Archives, 14.

180 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 544.

181 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 23.

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26 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan, including a Taliban military facility outside Kabul. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.182

26 October                 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) undergoes visit, board, search, and seizure training aboard Shreveport (LPD-12) in preparation for anticipated maritime boarding actions.183

26 October                 Another 100 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 4,750.184

27 October                 Navy aircraft engage several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.185

27 October                 Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, Commanding General of 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade as well as Combined Joint Task Force Consequence Management and Marine Forces Central Command-Forward, arrives at Naval Support Activity Bahrain along with his staff and conducts meetings with Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT)/Fifth Fleet and Central Command Combined Forces Maritime Component, and staff sections at NAVCENT headquarters.186

28 October–3 November       USNS John Ericsson (T-AO-194) delivers 407 pallets of cargo to Navy ships operating in the North Arabian Sea, the most ever delivered during a one-week period by an underway replenishment oiler.187

28 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack six targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.188

28 October                 The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group receives a warning order for security operations in support of World Trade Organization meetings in Doha, Qatar. 15th

28 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack six targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.189

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182 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

183 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 98.

184 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 545-01, 26 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3130.

185 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

186 Task Force 58 Command Chronology (27 October 2001–26 February 2002), United States Marine Corps Archives, HD/GRC Quantico, Box 2194, TF 58 C/C, 1.

187 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 19.

188 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

189 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

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28 October                 The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group receives a warning order for security operations in support of World Trade Organization meetings in Doha, Qatar. 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begins planning and initial actions for security force operations.190

29 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike numerous targets in Afghanistan, including al-Qaeda and Taliban command and control facilities, bunkers, and tunnels. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties. Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem, Joint Staff spokesperson, states that the air operations included strikes in 13 planned target areas as well as against targets in several engagement zones.191

29 October                 Captain Kenneth M. Rome, commander of Amphibious Squadron 8, and Colonel Andrew P. Frick, commander of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) depart Bataan (LHD-5) for a maritime interception operations conference in Naples, Italy.192

29 October                 The Naval War College begins a three-day symposium entitled “Setting our Course in the Terror War.” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark opens the symposium, stating: “We must engage the enemy intellectually and seek out the terrorists and destroy them, however long it takes. . . . The success of our campaign relies on effective use of our naval strengths: agility, mobility and persistent firepower.” Working groups meet throughout the symposium to discuss topics such as “Strategy Over the Next Five Years,” “Navy Contributions to Homeland Defense,” “Naval Offensive Counter-Terrorism Operations,” and “Naval Operational Concepts Beyond the Terror War.”193

30 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike 20 targets, including a terrorist training camp near Kandahar. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.194

__________

190 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 374.

191 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “Air Campaign Ratchets Up Against Front Line,” NNS011101-07, 1 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=121.

192 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 14.

193 “NWC Symposium Focuses on Fighting Terrorism,” NNS011101-01, 1 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=115.

194 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

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30 October                 Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England visits Peleliu (LHA-5) and Kitty Hawk (CV-63). Aboard Peleliu, he states that the war on terror will require the deployment of conventional forces ashore and hints that the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) might play an offensive role in the near future. Aboard Kitty Hawk, he expresses appreciation for the crew’s service to the nation during “this critical mission” and urges crewmembers to understand their vital role in “literally creating the point of the spear.”195

30 October                 U.S. Central Command notifies U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) of a forthcoming warning order for the conduct of amphibious raids into southern Afghanistan. NAVCENT and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command planners form an operational planning team to collect information and conduct initial mission analysis of potential amphibious missions.196

30 October                 U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command planners begin mission analysis for potential interdiction and noncombatant operations along the Horn of Africa. They envision a combined force consisting of two amphibious ready groups reinforced with CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters and KC-130 Hercules transports.197

30 October                 The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group is directed to consider the feasibility of replacing Kitty Hawk (CV-63) as a floating forward support base for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment in the North Arabian Sea.198

30 October                 An additional 490 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by the President. This brings the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 5,240.199

31 October                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack eight targets in Afghanistan, including facilities near a Kabul airfield. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.200

30 October                 U.S. Central Command issues a warning order for amphibious raids into Afghanistan. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command reissues the order.201

__________

195 “Kitty Hawk Completes Enduring Freedom Deployment,” NNS011226-08, 26 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=481; 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 2–9.

196 TF 58 Command Chronology, 4; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 374.

197 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 374.

198 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 99.

199 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 555-01, 30 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3138.

200 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

201 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 80.

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30 October                 Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet and U.S. Central Command Combined Forces Maritime Component, places Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, in charge of all amphibious forces in theater, designating him Commander, Naval Expeditionary Task Force 58 and tasking him with conducting amphibious raids into southern Afghanistan to destabilize Taliban command and control. This appointment makes Brigadier General Mattis, in the words of an official Marine Corps report, “the first Marine to command a naval task force in wartime.”202

30 October                 Amphibious Squadron 8 and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) submit a combined feasibility study regarding the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group’s replacement of Kitty Hawk (CV-63) as an afloat forward staging base. This option, which would have required off-loading the Marine contingent, is never exercised.203

30 October                 Another 208 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by the President. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized to 5,448.204

1 November               Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announces that, as of the 25th day of Operation Enduring Freedom combat operations, Coalition aircraft have flown more than 2,000 sorties and have delivered more than 1,000,000 humanitarian rations to Afghans.205

1 November               Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack nine targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.206

1 November               U.S. Central Command issues an operations order tasking U.S. Naval Forces Central Command with several missions: “Maintain maritime superiority to ensure uninterrupted access and movement through the Arabian Gulf and support CJFSOCC Combined/Joint Forces Special Operations Component Commander by conducting precision strikes against al Qaida, Taliban C2 command and control, and Taliban military targets. . . . Support CJFACC Combined/Joint Forces Air Component Commander with aircraft sorties to include strike, CAS close air support, and counter-air missions . . . and Conduct maritime intercept missions.”207

__________

202 USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 62; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

203 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 99.

204 “Reserve and National Guard Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 558-01, 31 October 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3140.

205 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 41; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 544.

206 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 47.

207 Quoted in Barlow, “The U.S. Navy’s Role in Coalition Maritime Interception in Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001–2002,” in Weir and Doyle, eds., You Cannot Surge Trust, 167–188, at 175.

47

1 November               Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet and Central Command Combined Forces Maritime Component, formally establishes Task Force 58 (TF-58), effectively combining the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC). Amphibious Squadron 1, under the command of Captain William E. Jezierski, is designated Task Group (TG) 58. The 15th MEU (SOC), under command of Colonel Thomas D. Waldhauser, is designated TG 58.2.208

1 November               U.S. Naval Forces Central Command issues a warning order directing TF-58 to begin planning for the execution of “a minimum of three to five amphibious raids” into southern Afghanistan over a 30-day period.209

1 November               U.S. Naval Forces Central Command requests transfer of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility and sufficient forces to relieve 15th Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) security forces in Jacobabad, Pakistan.210

1 November               Sailors aboard Kitty Hawk (CV-63) receive permission to send personal e-mail, subsequently termed “Freedom E-mail.” Crewmembers had been without e-mail access due to operational security and force protection concerns surrounding the ship’s mission in the Arabian Sea. Freedom E-mail passes through a two-tiered screening process by the ship’s various divisions and departments. Kitty Hawk Sailors cheer the command’s decision to relax the electronic communications restriction.211

1 November               The John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Battle Group commences a pre-deployment joint fleet exercise off the West Coast.212

2 November               Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.213

__________

208 TF 58 Command Chronology, 90; USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 54; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

209 TF 58 Command Chronology, 9; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

210 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

211 “‘Freedom E-mail’ Brings a Breath of Fresh Air,” NNS011121-06, 21 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=226.

212 2001 Command History, Salt Lake City (SSN-716), NHHC Archives, 3.

213 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

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2 November Two Air Force Sikorsky MH-53J Pave Low IIIs—designated Knife 03 and Knife 04—of the 20th Special Operations Squadron attempt a nighttime medical evacuation of a soldier in northern Afghanistan. Knife 03 crashes in Pakistan during a whiteout at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. Knife 04 recovers the crew, four of whom had received injuries. Peleliu (LHA-5) readies a CH-53E Super Stallion from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 163 and two AH-1W Super Cobra escorts to extract Knife 03. However, a decision is made not to endanger the recovery members, and two F-14B Tomcats of Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 embarked on board Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) destroy the Pave Low III with two GBU-16 laser-guided bombs.214

2 November An additional 178 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 5,626.215

3 November Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II aircraft of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) aboard Peleliu (LHA-5) fly their first strike missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, dropping 500-pound MK-82 general-purpose bombs on Taliban and al-Qaeda targets near Garmabak Gar in southern Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.216

3 November Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, briefs Task Force 58’s initial concept of employment to Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore.217

4 November Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack approximately five targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.218

5–9 November U.S. Coast Guard begins deploying Cyclone-class Special Operations Command vessels for maritime security operations. Navy personnel operate the vessels. In remarks at a press conference several days prior, General William Kernan, USA, Commander U.S. Joint Forces Command and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, states that “this will free up our cruisers, our destroyers from doing those missions.”219

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214Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 544.

215“Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 564-01, 2 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3144.

216 Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 126; David W. Kummer, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001–2009: Anthology and Annotated Bibliography (Quantico, VA: United States Marine Corps History Division, 2014), 372; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 544.

217TF 58 Command Chronology, 90.

218 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

219 Lisa Troshinsky, “Coast Guard to Use Navy Patrol Boats; Maritime Security Legislation on Track,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18, no. 44 (5 November 2001): 1.

49

5 November               Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.220

5 November               U.S. Naval Forces Central Command issues its concept of operations for amphibious raids into southern Afghanistan.221

5 November               Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, issues planning directives for raids into southern Afghanistan and interdiction of main supply routes.222

5 November               U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, authorizes the development of a strategic concept for the Horn of Africa region, and approves maritime interception operations and operations to monitor the security situation in the maritime area.223

5 November               During an interview with CNN’s Larry King, Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England states that morale is “terrific” aboard Kitty Hawk (CV-63), Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and other Navy ships in the Arabian Sea. Sailors and Marines “know the nation is behind them. . . . They’ve been training for this mission. They’re doing terrific out there.”224

5 November               Another 907 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 6,533.225

6–9 November           Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) launches scores of strike aircraft sorties in direct support of the battle for Mazar-i-Sharif.226

__________

220 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

221 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

222TF 58 Command Chronology, 90; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

223 Robert J. Schneller, Jr., “Operation Enduring Freedom: Coalition Warfare from the Sea and on the Sea,” in Bruce A. Elleman and S. C. M. Paine, eds., Naval Coalition Warfare: From the Napoleonic War to Operation Iraqi Freedom (London: Routledge, 2008), 193–207, at 201.

224 “Navy Secretary Says Sailor, Marine Morale High on Carriers,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11072001_200111071.html.

225 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 567-01, 5 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3146.

226 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 128.

50

 

 

6 November               Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets in direct support of the battle for Mazar-i-Sharif. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.[227]

6 November               In an interview on the deck of Wisconsin (BB-64) in Norfolk, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark states that the forward presence of more than 30,000 Sailors and two dozen Navy ships is being felt on the ground in Afghanistan. “We own the day and we own the night,” Admiral Clark asserts, adding that airstrikes from Carl Vinson (CVN-70), Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and Enterprise (CVN-65) carrier battle groups, along with continuous support from Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group, demonstrate the agility and strength of the Navy and Marine Corps team.[228]

6 November               Task Force 58 requests the deployment of additional CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.[229]

7 November               Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike a number of targets in direct support of the battle for Mazar-i-Sharif. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.[230]

7 November               U.S. Naval Forces Central Command consents to a request from Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command for use of Combined Forces Maritime Component Command forces to support the opening of the U.S. embassy in Kabul.[231]

7 November               A Sailor, Machinist’s Mate Fireman Apprentice Bryant Leroy Davis, falls overboard from Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in the north Arabian Sea. Repeated helicopter searches and several dives find no sign of Davis. [232]

7 November               An additional 415 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush. This brings the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 6,948.[233]

__________

227 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 128.

228 “CNO Says Navy Taking Fight to Enemy in Afghanistan,” NNS011116-08, 16 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=160.

229 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 375.

230 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 128.

231 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 376.

232 “Sailor Falls Overboard from Carrier in Arabian Sea,” USA Today, 8 November 2001, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/attack/2001/11/08/sailor.htm.

233“Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 571-01, 7 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3148.

51

8 November               Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike 14 targets in direct support of the battle for Mazar-i-Sharif. F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18C Hornets dropped precision munitions on Taliban positions, aiding Islamic State of Afghanistan (Northern Alliance) troops opposed in their siege of the town. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.234

8 November               Antietam (CG-54) begins miscellaneous operational details in local operations with the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group.235

8 November               The John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Battle Group concludes its pre-deployment joint fleet exercise and returns to port.236

9–17 November         The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group participates in Exercise Image Nautilus in Djibouti, a bilateral humanitarian assistance exercise supporting U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, engagement objectives for the Horn of Africa.237

9 November               Navy aircraft strike several targets in direct support of the battle for Mazar-i-Sharif. Coalition air strikes force al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants from their positions around Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul to flee or melt into the civilian populace. Some 400 to 500 holdouts barricade themselves in the three-story Sultan Razia Girls School at Mazar-i-Sharif. At the request of Northern Alliance leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, Coalition aircraft drop several bombs directly into the building, enabling allied forces to capture the school, and with it, the city. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.238

9 November               Coalition forces capture Mazar-i-Sharif.239

9 November               Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, briefs Task Force 58 concept of employment to Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore.240

__________

234 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 128; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 544.

235 2001 Command Operations Report, Antietam (CG-54), 5.

236 2001 Command History, Salt Lake City (SSN-716), NHHC Archives, 3.

237 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 2–10.

238 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 128; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 545.

239 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211.

240 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 376.

52

9 November               Task Groups 58.1 and 58.2 provide security force for World Trade Organization meetings in Doha, Qatar.241

9 November               NAVADMIN 297/01 conveys Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Vernon E. Clark’s Veterans Day message to the Navy. In the message, the CNO states: “We are currently engaged in a war that pits us against an enemy dedicated to indiscriminate killing and terror. It is a war that puts every one of us on the front lines and promises to be long and difficult. Success demands our fullest measure of honor, courage, and commitment—the very same qualities we pay tribute to this Veterans Day.”242

10 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets as al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants retreat from the northern battlefields of Afghanistan. On one occasion, an E-2C Hawkeye directs a Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 F-14B Tomcat to attack a column moving eastward. The Tomcat destroys the lead truck, blocking the remaining vehicles into a narrow mountain defile. Commander Roy J. Kelley, VF-102 commanding officer, flying another Tomcat, leads the destruction of vehicles packed with enemy troops in the ensuing traffic jam, which stretches for almost ten miles. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.243

10 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, delivers Task Force 58 concept of operations brief to U.S. Central Command’s Deputy Commander in Chief, Lieutenant General Michael P. DeLong, USMC, via video-teleconference from Naval Support Activity Bahrain.244

10 November             The Department of Defense announces that Machinist’s Mate Fireman Apprentice Bryant L. Davis has been declared dead after falling overboard from Kitty Hawk (CV-63) on 7 November. Search and rescue efforts had continued for more than two days before being halted.245

11 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.246

__________

241 TF 58 Command Chronology, 90.

242 NAVADMIN 297/01, http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2001/nav01297.txt.

243 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 545.

244 TF 58 Command Chronology, 18, 91.

245 “DoD Casualty Update,” DoD News Release No. 577-01, 10 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3152; “Kitty Hawk Sailors Mourn the Loss of a Shipmate,” NNS011116-27, 16 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=179.

246 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

53

11 November             The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group is ordered to report to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.247

13 November             U.S. Central Command issues a planning order for Combined Forces Maritime Component Command amphibious raids into Afghanistan. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command readdresses the order.248

12 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.249

12 November             The John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) deploys several weeks early from Naval Base San Diego to relieve the Carl Vinson (CVN-70) CVBG. John C. Stennis carries Carrier Air Wing 9, consisting of 70 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Her battle group includes cruisers Lake Champlain (CG-57) and Port Royal (CG-73), destroyers Decatur (DDG-73) and Elliot (DD-967), frigates Jarrett (FFG-33) and HMCS Halifax (FF 330), attack submarines Jefferson City (SSN-759) and Salt Lake City (SSN-716), and fast combat support ship Bridge (T-AOE-10). In addition, combat stores ship USNS Concord (T-AFS-5) and ammunition ship USNS Flint (T-AE-32) are attached to the CVBG.250

13 November             Taliban forces abandon Kabul and lose effective control of Herat.251

13 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to U.S. aircraft, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.252

12 November             To date, some 1,900 aircraft sorties have been flown in support of Operation Enduring Freedom—approximately 80 percent of which were flown off Enterprise (CVN-65), Carl Vinson (CVN-70), and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)—and some 90 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles launched.253

_________

247] 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 15; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 376.

248 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 377.

249 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

250 Lambeth, American Carrier Air Power, 16; S. L. Morison, “U.S. to Keep Bombing during Ramadan,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.46 (19 November 2001): 3; Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 26.

251] Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211.

252] “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

253] S. L. Morison, “U.S. to Keep Bombing During Ramadan,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18, no. 46 (19 November 2001): 3.

54

13 November             Task Groups 58.1 and 58.2 conclude World Trade Organization security force mission.254

13 November             Antietam (CG-54) concludes miscellaneous operational details and local operations with the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group.255

13 November             An additional 638 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush, bringing the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 7,586.256

14 November             United Nations (UN) Security Council adopts Resolution 1378, calling for a central UN role in establishing a transitional administration in Afghanistan and inviting member states to send peacekeeping forces to promote stability and secure the delivery of humanitarian assistance.257

14 November             Jalalabad falls to the Northern Alliance.258

14 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.259

14 November             Near Ghanzi, 50 miles southwest of Kabul, Navy aircraft provide cover for three Special Operations Forces helicopters as they rescue eight aid workers, including two Americans, who had been captured by the Taliban.260

14 November             While transiting the Suez Canal, the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) receives a draft planning order to prepare to conduct amphibious raids into southern Afghanistan.261

__________

 254 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91; USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 54.

255 2001 Command Operations Report, Antietam (CG54), 5.

256 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 580-01, 13 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3153.

257 Deborah Hanagan, “The Changing Face of Afghanistan, 2001–08,” Carlisle Papers, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, July 2011, 37.

258 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211.

259 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

260 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 41; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 545.

261 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 17; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 377.

55

14 November             Quick Reaction Force platoons and low-altitude air defense detachments are transferred to each ship in the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group, in support of its Suez Canal transit.262

14 November             An additional  91 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush, bringing the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 7,677.263

15–19 November       Vella Gulf (CG-72) relieves Princeton (CG-59) as the Task Force 50 (alternate) Air Defense Commander.264

15 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike a number of targets, including Taliban troop concentrations near Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Herat in the west of Afghanistan. Lieutenant Andrew P. Hayes, piloting a Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 F-14B Tomcat, along with his radar intercept officer spots several bivouacs of Taliban armored vehicles two miles from Army Special Operations Forces. Despite antiaircraft and small arms fire, the fliers drop three laser-guided bombs that hit two moving tanks and an armored vehicle, and guide three GBU-12 bombs released by their wingman that destroyed two tanks and a fuel truck. Secondary explosions forced more than 50 Taliban troops to flee their positions. Over the next six hours, Hayes guides 12 Coalition aircraft until low fuel forces his disengagement. Aircraft drop 20 laser-guided and 16 general-purpose bombs, resulting in the destruction of 33 vehicles. Hayes subsequently receives the Distinguished Flying Cross. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.265

15 November             U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet assumes operational control of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).266

15 November             Amphibious Squadron Eight, under the command of Captain Kenneth M. Rome, is designated Task Group 58.3.267

__________ 

 

262 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 17.

263 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 584-01, 14 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3156.

264 Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-1991-2001.html.

265 “Bombing Continues on Ramadan’s First Day,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11162001_200111162.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 545.

266 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91; USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 54; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 17.

267 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 105, 377.

56 

16 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.268

16 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, refines his concept of operations in a fragmentary order to subordinate commanders. After Navy SEALs establish surveillance over the main objectives, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC) is to secure the desert airstrip (Objective 1) on 21 November. 26th MEU (SOC) will subsequently flow through Forward Operating Base Rhino and seize Kandahar airport (Objective 2) on 24 November. On order, the Marines will also interdict enemy movement along Asian Highway Route 1 (Objective 3).269

16 November             Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem, Joint Staff spokesperson, states at a Pentagon briefing that Mohammed Atef, the leading al-Qaeda military strategist, appears to have been killed during a planned drone strike against Taliban and Al-Qaeda command and control.270

16 November             Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visits Naval Station Great Lakes to meet newly graduated recruits and praise the Navy’s efforts in the war against terrorism. Addressing 615 recruit training graduates and their family and friends, Rumsfeld notes that they are beginning their military service in time of war. Like America’s Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Rumsfeld says, today’s Navy “is coming to the rescue, again.” He notes that some of the new Sailors “could soon be on a flight deck in the Arabian Sea, loading bombs on airplanes, refueling, fixing engines before the planes are catapulted off. . . . Some of you may be preparing missiles to be launched at the enemy and destroying their deadly weapons.”271

16 November             An additional 158 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush, bringing the total number of Navy reservists called to active duty to 7,835.272

__________ 

 

268 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

269 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 105, 377.

270 “No. 2 Al Qaeda Terrorist May Have Been Killed,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11162001_200111168.html; Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211.

271 “Rumsfeld Salutes Sailors at Great Lakes Training Base,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11162001_200111165.html.

272 “Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty,” DoD News Release No. 592-01, 16 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3162.

57 

17 November             F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18C Hornets, the latter of which are from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251 serving aboard Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), attack a large column of Taliban troops, trucks, and tanks approaching special operations forces from Operational Detachment Alpha 574 who were helping to protect Hamid Karzai at Tarin Kowt. For more than three hours, strike aircraft pound the Taliban, who leave behind 30 destroyed vehicles and 300 dead. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support to U.S. aircraft, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.273

17 November             U.S. naval forces in the North Arabian Sea are augmented by the arrival of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group, carrying the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), as well as Whidbey Island (LSD-41) and Shreveport (LPD-12).274

17 November             Task Force 58 issues an operations order to establish forward operating bases in southern Afghanistan and to seize Kandahar Airfield.275

17 November             Elements of Task Force 58—Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon, and Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 15—conduct a hydrographic survey of Chur Beach in Pasni, Pakistan.276

17 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, requests Air Force C-17 Globemaster III intra-theater aerial transport through Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore to support Task Force 58 operations in Afghanistan.277

18 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft fly more than 130 combat sorties, striking targets in support of opposition troops operating near Kunduz and Kandahar.278

18 November             The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment deploys from Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and inserts special operations forces Operational Detachment Alpha 583 into southern Afghanistan, where it links up with anti-Taliban Pashtun leader Gul Agha Sherzai.279

_________

273 Ripley, Air War Afghanistan, 65.

274 S. L. Morison, “U.S. Sustains First War Casualties, Bin Laden Still in Afghanistan,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.47 (26 November 2001): 3.

275 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 377.

276 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 377.

277 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91.

278 “Rumsfeld Lauds U.S. Special Ops Forces in Afghanistan,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11192001_200111195.html.

279 Wright, A Different Kind of War, 338.

58 

18 November                    Two members of an eight-man security team from Peterson (DD-969) are killed when a tanker they had boarded sank in international waters approximately 80 miles southeast of Al-Ahmadi, Kuwait, in the northern Persian Gulf. The vessel, motor vessel Samra (also known as M/V Navigator I), was believed to be smuggling 1,700 metric tons of Iraqi oil in violation of UN Security Council sanctions against Iraq. The deceased sailors are subsequently identified as Engineman First Class Vincent Parker, 38, of Preston, Mississippi, and Electronics Technician Third Class Benjamin Johnson, 21, of Rochester, New York. A LAMPS Mk III helicopter from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 44 Detachment 4 embarked on board Peterson, an SH-60B Seahawk of HSL-42 Detachment 2 from Leyte Gulf (CG-55), two rigid hull inflatable boats from the cruiser, and Ingraham (FFG-61) and Australian frigate Sydney (FFG 03) rescues the remaining six Sailors and ten smugglers280

18 November                    Elements of Task Force 58—Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon, and Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 15—continue their hydrographic survey of Chur Beach in Pasni, Pakistan.281

18 November                    Task Force 58 requests a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Air Detachment for the planned execution of runway repairs at Objective Rhino.282

18 November                    Antietam (CG-54) transits the Strait of Hormuz, en route to the North Arabian Sea.283

18 November                    The Essex (LHD-2) Amphibious Ready Group and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conclude integrated training and humanitarian assistance operations in East Timor.284

19 November                    Approximately 65 carrier-based Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack numerous targets, focusing on Taliban and al-Qaeda cave and tunnel complexes, and Taliban troops in the Kandahar and Kunduz regions. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.285

19 November                    U.S. Naval Forces Central Command requests special operations forces for reconnaissance and terminal guidance at Objective Rhino.286

19 November                    An Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft completes its first flight over Afghanistan. The Navy subsequently adopts Global Hawks as part of its Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program.287

19 November                    Antietam (CG-54) conducts search and rescue operations in the northern Persian Gulf.288

__________

280 “Peterson Sailors Missing After Suspect Tanker Sinks in Gulf,” NNS011120-01, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=202; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

281 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 377.

282 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 378.

[283] 2001 Command History, Antietam (CG-54), 5.

[284] 31st MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 5.

[285] “Opposition/Terrorists ‘In Standoff’ at Kunduz, Kandahar,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11202001_200111204.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

[286] Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 378.

[287] Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

[288] 2001 Command History, Antietam (CG-54), 5.

59 

20 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.289

20 November             AV-8B Harrier II strikes begin for the duration of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group’s participation in Operation Enduring Freedom.290

20 November             Task Force 58 commander and staff embark in Peleliu (LHA-5). Once aboard, they receive a formal confirmation brief from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) staff, which provides a comprehensive overview of the plan to seize Objective Rhino.291

20 November             Relieved by soldiers from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) recovers its remaining security forces from Jacobabad, Pakistan.292

20 November             Captain William E. Jezierski, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1, issues an operational tasking in support of surface landings near Chur Beach, Pasni, Pakistan.293

20 November             Bataan takes up station off the coast of Pakistan, in preparation for impending ship-to-shore movement.294

20 November             Shreveport (LPD-12) and Whidbey Island (LSD-41) steam to Masirah, Oman, to secure more than 100 pallets of bottled water in preparation for Task Force 58’s future operations ashore. Concurrently, Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 26 ammunition technicians aboard Shreveport begin building and pre-staging contingency ammunition packages, to be transferred to Bataan.295

21 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.296

__________ 

289 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

290 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 18, 100.

291 TF 58 Command Chronology, 21; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 378.

292 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 378.

293 TF 58 Command Chronology, 91; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 378.

294 MSSG-26 Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 17.

295 Ibid.

296 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

 

60 

21 November             As Bataan (LHD-5) closes on the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group, key Amphibious Squadron 8 and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) staff officers are transferred to Peleliu to meet with Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, and continue coordination planning among the three staffs.297

21 November             Task Force 58 begins conducting ship-to-shore movement to stage forces ashore in Pakistan. Due to political sensitivities in Pakistan regarding the U.S. military presence, the operations are restricted to evening hours.298

21 November             Task Force 58 issues its amphibious operations air control plan, while air officers coordinate close air support requirements with pilots on board Carl Vinson (CVN-70).299

21 November             A Navy SEAL detachment from Task Force K-Bar lands in southern Afghanistan to provide surveillance and special reconnaissance over Objective Rhino.300

21 November             15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begins staging forces ashore in Pasni, Pakistan, for follow-on movement into Afghanistan.301

21 November             Another 268 members of the Naval Reserve are called to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush, bringing the total number of Navy reservists mobilized to 8,103.302

22 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets in Afghanistan, including an al-Qaeda vehicle convoy. AV-8B Harrier IIs from Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223, embarked on board Bataan (LHD-5), fly the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)’s first sorties over Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.303

__________ 

297 TF 58 Command Chronology, 22, 92; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 18, 100.

298 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 20.

299 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan , 378.

300 TF 58 Command Chronology, 17; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 111.

301 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 378.

302 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Nov. 21,” DoD News Release No. 597-01, 21 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3165.

303 Lon Nordeen, AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2014), 19; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

61 

22 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, visits Sailors and Marines aboard Bataan.304

23 November             Kunduz falls to the Northern Alliance.305

23 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft strike several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.306

23 November             Vella Gulf (CG-72) assumes Task Force 50 Air Defense Commander.307

23 November             U.S. Central Command issues an execute order for Operation Swift Freedom.308

23 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, issues a warning order for the use of a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion air detachment at Forward Operating Base Rhino.309

23 November             U.S. Naval Forces Central Command begins leadership interception operations in the Gulf of Oman.310

24 November             An AV-8B Harrier from Task Force 58 destroys an enemy vehicle in Afghanistan with a LGB-12 laser-guided bomb.311

24 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, issues an execute order for Operation Swift Freedom, the seizure of a desert airstrip and establishment of a forward operating base in Afghanistan.312

__________ 

 

304 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 100.

305 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 379.

306 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

307 Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-1991-2001.html.

308 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 379.

309 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92.

310 Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 199.

311 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92.

312 Ibid.; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 379.

62 

25 November             Bitter fighting rages as Qala-e-Jhangi, a 19th-century fortress six miles west of Mazar-i-Sharif, as 500–600 Taliban prisoners revolt. The prisoners storm the armory and seize most of the fortress, killing Central Intelligence Agency agent and former Marine Johnny Michael Spann. Despite attacks by Coalition special operations forces and Northern Alliance troops, the fortress is only retaken after strikes by Navy F/A-18C Hornets and Air Force AC-130U Spookies.313

25 November             Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan capture John Walker Lindh, known subsequently as “American Taliban.”314

25 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, requests forces from Joint Special Operations Task Force-South (JSOTF-S) for surveillance and reconnaissance and air traffic control of Objective Rhino. JSOTF-S Navy SEALs change operational command tactical control from Task Force Sword to Task Force 58.315

25 November             Operation Swift Freedom begins, focusing on the liberation of southern Afghanistan in the area of Kandahar.316

25 November             At 0900Z, Task Force 58 assumes control of Shamsi Forward Arming and Refueling Point from Task Force Sword.317

25 November             At 1215Z, an aviation escort from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 163, consisting of four AH-1W Super Cobra and three UH-1N Iroquois “Huey” helicopters, departs Peleliu (LHA-5). F-14B Tomcats and F/A-18C Hornets fly top cover from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).318

25 November             At 1300Z, the first half of the Task Force 58 assault force departs Peleliu on board three CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from HMM-163. At 1345Z, the second half of the Task Force 58 assault force departs Peleliu on board three CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from HMM-365 (26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable). The Marines are flown more than 400 nautical miles to establish a forward operating base at an airfield 60–70 miles southwest of Kandahar, code-named Objective Rhino. They meet no resistance during their initial insertion. The Marines are the first conventional U.S. ground forces inserted into Afghanistan.319

25 November             At 1400Z, Brigadier General Mattis assumes control of Task Force 58 area of operations.320

__________

313 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 42; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

314 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211; “American Taliban Fighter Under U.S. Control in Afghanistan,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12032001_200112033.html.

315 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92.

316 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

317 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92.

318 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 379.

319 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92; R. R. Keene, “Send in the Marines … This Time to Afghanistan,” Leatherneck 85 (January 2002): 20–23; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 379.

320 TF 58 Command Chronology, 92.

63 

25 November             At 1700Z, Task Group 58.2 assaults and seizes Forward Operating Base Rhino.321

25 November             Task Force 58 assumes control of Forward Operating Base Rhino from Joint Special Operations Task Force-South Navy SEALs.322

25 November             P-3 Orion aircraft from Task Force 57 begin continual nighttime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on Forward Operating Base Rhino.323

26 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack numerous targets within nine target areas concentrated on al-Qaeda and Taliban cave and tunnel complexes, as well as Taliban military forces and armored vehicles in and around Jalalabad and Kandahar. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.324

26 November             Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, and his staff arrive at Forward Operating Base Rhino.325

26 November             Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld briefly discusses Task Force 58’s operations with reporters at the Pentagon. “Their purpose is to establish a forward base of operations to help pressure the Taliban forces in Afghanistan and to prevent Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists from moving freely about the country,” Rumsfeld says. While he does not state specifically what the forward operating base will be used for, Secretary Rumsfeld asserts that the area has strategic importance because it is near major crossroads and east-west routes into Iran and Pakistan.326

26 November             The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group begins anti-terrorism force protection exercise.327

__________ 

321 Ibid., 93.

322 Ibid., 24, 93.

323 Ibid., 25.

324 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 380; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

325 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 379.

326 “Marines in Afghanistan to Set Up Forward Operating Base,” NNS011128-05, 28 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=242.

327 2001 Command Operations Report, Carney (DDG-64), NHHC Archives, 5.

64 

27 November             Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aircraft execute numerous strikes in four target areas concentrated against Taliban and al-Qaeda cave and tunnel complexes and support infrastructure near Jalalabad, as well as emerging targets in the south, which include command and control elements and Taliban military forces. About 120 strike aircraft fly the missions, including almost 100 carrier-based aircraft. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, and RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.328

27 November             Task Group 58.4 Low Altitude Air Defense team arrives at Forward Operating Base Rhino to augment air defenses.329

27 November             26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and Amphibious Squadron 8 liaison officers are sent to Forward Operating Base Rhino to help coordinate current and future operations.330

27 November             Information Systems Technician Second Class Randy G. Whitaker is reported missing from aboard the destroyer Russell (DDG-59) as the ship operates 740 nautical miles southwest of India.  Search and rescue operations immediately commence, assisted by Vincennes (CG-49).331

28 November–8 December   Concerned about the escape of terrorist leaders from Afghanistan aboard ships, U.S. and allied naval forces commence leadership interdiction operations in the North Arabian Sea. Princeton (CG-59) conducts some of the first of these operations near Gwadar off southwestern Pakistan. Aircraft from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) search for smugglers, while ships from her battle group participate in patrols and interceptions.332

28 November             U.S. Central Command imposes a limit on the number of naval forces operating in Afghanistan to 1,000 personnel, which applies to Task Force 58 (TF-58) Navy and Marine Corps personnel only. This number is subsequently adjusted to 1,078 to reflect the precise number of TF-58 naval forces already ashore.333

28 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets around the city of Jalalabad. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.334

__________ 

328 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “Their Troops Quit When Taliban, al Qaeda Leaders Break,” NNS011129-01, 29 November 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=243; “Jets Target Taliban Compounds; DoD Awaits Bomb Damage Assessment,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11282001_200111281.html; “Officials Give Afghan Update,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11272001_200111271.html.

329 TF 58 Command Chronology, 93.

330 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 19.

331 Christopher Munsey, “Man Overboard: Four Sailors Lost in November—As Many as in Past Three Years,” Navy Times, 10 December 2001.

332 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546; Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 199.

333 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 380.

334 “Taliban Command ‘Fractured,’ DoD Continues Strikes,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11292001_200111293.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.   

65

28 November             An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport lands at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Rhino, carrying the lead elements of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133’s air detachment. (The battalion is designated Task Group 58.5.) Although the initial complement of 27 Seabees is primarily composed of construction mechanics and heavy-equipment operators, it also includes electricians, plumbers, steel workers, and carpenters to complete rudimentary contingency construction at the FOB. In addition to the equipment needed to complete small construction projects, the Seabees bring a grader, roller, bulldozer, water distribution truck, two HMMWVs (high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle), and a generator. While not necessarily part of their standard deployment package, the water truck will prove critical to maintaining the base’s earthen runway.335

28 November             To facilitate operational control and tactical direction of Task Force 58’s afloat units, Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, designates Captain William E. Jezierski, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1, as Deputy Commander, TF-58.336

28 November             The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group concludes anti-terrorism force protection exercise.337

28 November             Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 397 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty, bringing the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 8,500.338

29 November             Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets near Kandahar and the cave and tunnel complexes around Jalalabad. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.339

29 November             U.S. Central Command raises its limitation on the number of naval forces operating in Afghanistan to 1,100 personnel.340

__________ 

335 TF 58 Command Chronology, 93; S. L. Morison, “Forward Base ‘Rhino’: The Military Buildup Continues,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 18.49 (10 December 2001): 3.

336 TF 58 Command Chronology, 33, 93.

337 2001 Command Operations Report, Carney (DDG-64), NHHC Archives, 5.

338 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Nov. 28,” DoD News Release No. 605-01, 28 November 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3169.

339 “Rumsfeld: Coalition Keeping Pressure On Taliban, Al Qaeda,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11302001_200111302.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

340 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 380.

 

66

29 November             In comments to reporters at the Pentagon, Joint Staff spokesperson Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem states that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is looking at potential airfields in Tajikistan to base combat aircraft. He says, however, that CENTCOM commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, has not yet decided to send aircraft to these bases and, until a decision is made, Navy carrier aircraft will continue to fly the vast majority of combat sorties.341

29 November             The search for Information Systems Technician Second Class Randy G. Whitaker, reported missing from aboard Russell (DDG-59) on 27 November, is suspended.342

30 November             The Battle of Tora Bora begins as Navy reconnaissance aircraft spot Taliban troops fleeing toward the immense mountain cave complex 35 miles southwest of Jalalabad. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack numerous targets. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.343

30 November             Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, in his role as Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander, assigns tactical control of Task Force 58 and Task Groups 58.2, 58.4, and 58.5 forces operating in the Combined Joint Operations Area to Coalition Force Land Component Commander Lieutenant General Paul T. Mikolashek, USA. The general accepts tactical control of forces, which allows him and his staff to focus primarily on campaign-level land combat operations, while Vice Admiral Moore and the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command staff address a wider range of theater-level force requirements for sea-based forces.344

30 November             The first elements of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) participating in Exercise Noble Shirley are recovered on board the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.345

1 December                U.S. Central Command raises its limitation on the number of naval forces operating in Afghanistan to 1,400 personnel. This enables Task Force 58 to land 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) combat forces necessary for securing Forward Operating Base Rhino and conducting interdiction operations.346

_________

341 “Taliban Command ‘Fractured,’ DoD Continues Strikes,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Nov2001/n11292001_200111293.html.

342 Christopher Munsey, “Man Overboard: Four Sailors Lost in November—As Many as in Past Three Years,” Navy Times, 10 December 2001.

343 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 42; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

344 TF 58 Command Chronology, 32, 93; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 131–132.

345 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 20.

346 TF 58 Command Chronology, 93; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 381.

67

1 December                Four explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians arrive on board Bataan (LHD-5), to augment the Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 26 EOD team.347

1 December                Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), Ogden (LPD-5), and Pearl Harbor (LSD-52) deploy six weeks ahead of schedule from Naval Base San Diego, carrying approximately 2,200 Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC). The three ships form an amphibious ready group (ARG) centered on Bonhomme Richard. Her group deploys far earlier than initially scheduled to relieve the 15th MEU (SOC) and Peleliu (LHA-5) ARG.348

2 December                Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.349

2 December                U.S. Central Command and Combined Forces Land Component Command issue execute orders directing Task Force 58 to isolate Kandahar and prevent the escape of enemy forces from Afghanistan.350

2 December                Marines at Forward Operating Base Rhino are reinforced by 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) helicopters.351

3 December                Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.352

3 December                Task Groups 58.1 and 58.2 move an artillery battery from Dubuque (LPD-8) to Peleliu (LHA-5).353

4 December                Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.354

__________ 

347 MSSG-26 Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 38.

348 “San Diego Navy Ships Deploy for Operation Enduring Freedom,” NNS011205-16, 5 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=266; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 546.

349 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

350 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 381.

351 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 45.

352 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

353 TF 58 Command Chronology, 94.

354 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

68

 

4 December                Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore issues his planning guidance for operations designed to interdict the movement of Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders in the north Arabian Sea.355

4 December                Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark praises the Navy’s involvement in the war on terrorism during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” During the segment, Admiral Clark also specifies that the John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Battle Group and the Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group are in transit to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s area of responsibility.356

5 December                Major Afghan factions meet under United Nations auspices in Bonn, Germany, and agree to form a 30-member interim government for Afghanistan until the meeting of a traditional national assembly. Hamid Karzai is selected as chairman of the interim administration. The Bonn Agreement also provides for an international peacekeeping force.357

5 December                Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aircraft attack several targets to cut off the escape of Taliban and al-Qaeda troops fleeing from Coalition attacks along Route 1 between Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.358

5 December                An Air Force B-52H Stratofortress mistakenly drops a GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition on Operational Detachment Alpha 574 special operations forces and future Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s forces operating north of Kandahar, killing three Americans and five Afghans and wounding another 20 Americans and 18 Afghans, including Karzai himself. Task Force 58 helicopter crews, primarily from 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), immediately land reinforcements and help evacuate casualties to Forward Operating Base Rhino for triage. After receiving initial triage from the Task Group 58.2 Shock Trauma Platoon at Forward Operating Base Rhino, the Afghan fighters are flown to Peleliu (LHA-5) and Bataan (LHD-5) for further medical treatment.359

__________ 

355 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 145.

356 “CNO emphasizes Navy’s Role in War on Terrorism,” NNS011205-18, 5 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=268.

357 Hanagan, “The Changing Face of Afghanistan, 2001–08,” 37.

358 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 45; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 547.

359 TF 58 Command Chronology, 94; Wright, A Different Kind of War, 338; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 21; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 143, 382.

 

69

5 December                Task Group 50.6 assumes tactical control of Navy and Marine Corps personnel on board Shreveport (LPD-12) for leadership interdiction operations in the North Arabian Sea.360

5 December                All remaining elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) from Exercise Noble Shirley are recovered aboard the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.361

5 December                Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 408 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 8,908.362

6 December                Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.363

6 December                A Navy P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft confirms a Taliban probe against Forward Operating Base Rhino, southwest of Kandahar. Marines on the ground fire 81mm mortars, prompting the Taliban to withdraw. Later that evening, a convoy of seven vehicles attempts to slip past the Marines, but an Orion spots the infiltrators as they dismount to advance. F/A-18C Hornets and F-14 Tomcats disrupt the attack by dropping six 500-pound and two 1,000-pound laser-guided bombs.364

6 December                Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore issues planning orders for detainee handling and reconstitution of the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group as well as a warning order to support the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Kabul.365

6 December                A Naval Special Warfare Task Unit—SEAL Team 8, supported by members of Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 26 and Company L, Battalion Landing Team 3/6—embarks aboard Shreveport (LPD-12) and conducts vessel boarding search and seizure of maritime vessel Kota Sajarah off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan.366

__________ 

360 TF 58 Command Chronology, 94.

361 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 21.

362 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Dec. 5,” DOD News Release No. 617-01, 5 December 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3176.

363 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

364 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 146–147; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 548.

365 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 382.

366 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 21–22, 100; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 145, 383; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 547.

 

70

7 December                Vella Gulf (CG-72) functions as Force Over-the-Horizon Track Coordinator for Task Force 50 managing and collating all-source—organic and inorganic—contact information.367

7 December                Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, issues a fragmentary order directing Task Group 58.4 to provide a security detachment to support a survey team at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.368

7 December                The first high-value detainees arrive at Forward Operating Base Rhino.369

7 December                North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic deploys to the eastern Mediterranean Sea as Task Force Endeavour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. NATO ships are tasked with patrolling the eastern Mediterranean, monitoring shipping, and boarding any suspect ships.370

8 December                “American Taliban” detainee John Walker Lindh arrives at Forward Operating Base Rhino.371

9 December                Kandahar, the last major Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan, falls to Northern Alliance forces under the command of Hamid Karzai.372

9 December                Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interview detainee John Walker Lindh at Forward Operating Base Rhino.373

9 December                Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, issues a fragmentary order regarding support for maritime interdiction operations.374

9 December                Elements of Task Group 58.4 assume the security mission at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.375

__________ 

367 Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-1991-2001.html.

368 TF 58 Command Chronology, 95; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001–2002, 384.

369 Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 53.

370 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 30; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 548.

371 TF 58 Command Chronology, 95.

372 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211.

373 TF 58 Command Chronology, 95.

374 Ibid.

375 Ibid.

71

9 December                Ohio (SSBN-726) successfully test launches four Trident I C4 submarine launched ballistic missiles at the Atlantic test range east of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launches are the latest in an ongoing series of operational evaluation tests conducted by the Navy to monitor the safety, reliability, readiness, and performance of the Trident I C4 Strategic Weapon System.376

10 December              Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.377

10 December              Bataan (LHD-5) receives Marine expeditionary unit forces from Shreveport (LPD-12) via landing craft air cushion (LCAC) to allow the LPD to operate as a support platform for maritime interdiction operations missions.378

10 December              Six Afghans loyal to Hamid Karzai, injured by an American Joint Direct Attack Munition on 5 December, are transferred from Bataan to a theater Level III facility for further medical treatment.379

11 December              Navy and Marine Corps aircraft fly more than 150 strike sorties, attacking targets around the Tora Bora cave and tunnel complex south of Jalalabad. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.380

11 December              Task Force 58 aircraft deliver 17,400 humanitarian assistance food rations to Afghans who assisted a line of communication interdiction force that deployed from Forward Operating Base Rhino on 7 December.381

12 December              Coalition forces attack al-Qaeda’s main headquarters at Tora Bora.382

12 December              Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack a number of targets in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.383

__________ 

376 “Trident I C4 Sub Missiles Successfully Tested,” Navy News & Undersea Technology 19, no. 1 (2 January 2002): 4.

377 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

378 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 23.

379 TF 58 Command Chronology, 95.

380 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “Air, Ground Forces Continue to Hammer Tora Bora,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12122001_200112121.html.

381 TF 58 Command Chronology, 95.

382 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211.

383 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

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12 December              Task Force 58 issues a fragmentary order transferring responsibility for detainee handling from 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC) to 26th MEU (SOC).384

12 December              Combined forces of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC) and 26th MEU (SOC) seize Kandahar airfield. A Seabee detachment from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 begins maintaining runways and construction at the airfield. The field soon becomes the primary detention facility for captured Taliban and al-Qaeda personnel of key interest to U.S. officials.385

12 December              Russell (DDG-59) rescues the four-man crew of an Air Force 20th Bomb Wing B-1B Lancer that crashed into the Indian Ocean approximately 30 miles north of the island of Diego Garcia. The aircraft, which was on a bombing mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, had experienced “multiple systems malfunctions” after it took off from Diego Garcia. Russell was on picket duty for such an occurrence, patrolling to rescue any aircrews that might have to ditch.386

12 December              Military Sealift Command’s Indian Ocean–based Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron (MPS) 2 is tasked to provide a ship to assist in the surveillance of the B-1B Lancer crash site in international waters, protecting the aircraft wreckage and onboard ordnance from possible salvage by belligerent entities. Ships from both MPS-2 and Afloat Prepositioning Ship Squadron (APS) 4 begin patrolling the designated 25 nautical mileby35 nautical mile crash site area.387

12 December              Bataan (LHD-5) hoists the “Ground Zero” flag, which she receives from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).388

12 December              The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 57 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 8,965.389

__________ 

384 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 384.

385 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 23; Schneller, Anchor of Resolve, 85.

386 “Team Effort Saves Air Force Bombing Crew,” NNS011220-17, 20 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=455; “Crew of Four Aboard B-1 Bomber Rescued After Crash,” USA Today, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/attack/2001/12/12/bomber-down.htm#more; “Navy Destroyer Rescues Four B-1B Bomber Crewmembers,” http://insidedefense.com/defensealert/navy-destroyer-rescues-four-b-1b-bomber-crewmembers; “Pentagon Officials Provide Update on Operation Enduring Freedom,” http://insidedefense.com/content/pentagon-officials-provide-update-operation-enduring-freedom-6; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 548–549.

387 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 25.

388 2001 Command Operations Report, Bataan (LHD-5), NHHC Archives, 6.

389 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Dec. 12,” DoD News Release No. 629-01, 12 December 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3182.

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13 December              Navy and Marine Corps aircraft attack several targets in close support of Army special operations forces and elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) advancing around Kandahar airport. CH-53E Super Stallions fly in reinforcements that enable the Marines to establish a forward operating base. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support for Coalition aircraft, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.390

14 December              “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh is transferred from Forward Operating Base Rhino to Peleliu (LHA-5).391

14 December              Task Group 58.4 assault elements seize Kandahar Airfield and conduct an explosive ordnance disposal sweep.392

14 December              Task Force 58 establishes a forward observation post at Kandahar Airfield.393

14 December              M Platoon, Marine Battalion Landing Team 3/6 deploys to Shreveport (LPD-12) to support SEAL Team 8 during maritime interdiction operations conducted on 14 December and again on 18 December.394

14 December              Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 26’s Military Police detachment is ordered to establish a short-term holding facility for detainees at Kandahar Airfield.395

14 December              The Navy announces that John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and its battle group will deploy two months early, in mid-January.

15 December              Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore issues an execute order for the transfer of detainees captured at Tora Bora to Kandahar Airfield.

15 December              Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 26 establishes a preliminary short-term holding facility at Kandahar Airfield.396

__________ 

390 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 45; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 549.

391 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 383.

392 TF 58 Command Chronology, 95; Steven L. Myers, “Marines Move to Kandahar and Secure an Airport,” New York Times, 14 December 2001.

393 TF 58 Command Chronology, 96.

394 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 23.

395 MSSG-26 Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 37.

396 Ibid.

74

15 December              Four high-value detainees are transferred to Peleliu (LHA-5).397

15 December              Navy surgeons on board Peleliu (LHA-5) operate on John Walker Lindh, removing a bullet from a leg wound he sustained during the prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif on 25 November.398

16 December              The John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Battle Group arrives on station in the North Arabian Sea, formally relieving the Carl Vinson (CVN-70) battle group. John C. Stennis launches her first air strikes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.399

16 December              Kitty Hawk (CV-63) departs the North Arabian Sea and steams for her forward-deployed port of Yokosuka, Japan.400

16 December              Tora Bora, the complex of mountain caves sheltering al-Qaeda and Taliban holdouts, falls to Coalition forces. Isolated pockets of al-Qaeda and Taliban forces remain in the area, however, compelling the continuation of Coalition operations around Tora Bora.401

16 December              Seabees at Forward Operating Base Rhino divide their detachment to begin repairs of the runway at Kandahar Airfield.402

16 December              The first 15 al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees are processed in the short-term holding facility at Kandahar airfield.403

17 December              Navy and Marine Corps aircraft fly more than 100 sorties, striking targets of opportunity around Kandahar and near Tora Bora. Coalition leaders claim victory at Tora Bora, as Taliban and al-Qaeda forces flee across the Pakistani border. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.404

__________ 

397 TF 58 Command Chronology, 96.

398 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 149.

399 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 46; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 549.

400 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 27.

401 Wright, A Different Kind of War, 118; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 385.

402 TF 58 Command Chronology, 76.

403 MSSG-26 Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 37.

404 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “U.S. to Question Detainees,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12182001_200112184.html; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 549.

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17 December              Elements of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conduct a sensitive site exploitation (SSE) mission in the Afghan village of Dewaluk. This is the first of many such missions to follow and sets the precedent for integrating Australian special operations forces and external SSE experts into this type of mission.405

17 December              Ten additional Seabees arrive at Kandahar Airfield. Within 12 hours of their arrival, the Seabees fill numerous craters with a soil/cement mix and compact the top layer for stability, extending the serviceable portion of the runway to 6,000 feet.406

17 December              Seabees complete construction of the short-term holding facility at Kandahar Airfield.407

17 December              The Department of the Navy recognizes the heroic efforts of Sailors, Marines and Navy civilians for their distinguished actions immediately following the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark, and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General Michael Williams host the awards ceremony in the Pentagon Center Courtyard, with more than 90 award recipients and their families, friends, and co-workers in attendance. “Today we are here to honor the naval men and women whose acts of courage, bravery and disregard for their own safety became the first acts of defiance against the enemies of freedom,” England says. “When the Pentagon became a combat zone, your honor, courage and commitment rose to the fore.” Navy leaders present nine different categories of awards during the ceremony; 21 men and women receive the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for saving lives, one of the highest non-combat awards for heroism that the Department of Defense presents. Seven Navy civilians also receive awards for their actions and contributions on 9/11. Four Sailors receive the Purple Heart, and two Navy civilians receive the Defense of Freedom Medal, the civilian equivalent award. “When faced with the very real challenge of the defense of our nation, these shipmates responded heroically,” Admiral Clark asserts. “Their actions and professionalism speak volumes about the quality of people we have throughout the Department of the Navy.”408

__________

     405 Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 55.

406 TF 58 Command Chronology, 76; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 5.

407 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 101.

408 “Department of the Navy Honors Pentagon Heroes,” DoD News Release No. 642-01, 17 December 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3191; “Department of the Navy Honors Pentagon Heroes,” NNS011227-06, 27 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=488; David Brown, “Sailors Honored for Sept. 11 Deeds,” Navy Times, 31 December 2001.

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18 December              Navy and Marine Corps aircraft fly 164 sorties over Afghanistan, but drop no ordnance. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, USMC, tells reporters at the Pentagon that U.S. strike fighters and bombers are maintaining a presence in the skies above Afghanistan in case ground forces call in strikes.409

18 December              The French Navy’s Task Force 473 conducts a rendezvous with Task Force 50 about 50 miles off the Pakistani coast. The combined group comprises four aircraft carriers: John C. Stennis (CVN-74), Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), the French Charles de Gaulle (R 91), and the Italian Guiseppe Garibaldi (C 551).410

18 December              Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, issues a fragmentary order directing redeployment and reconstitution of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC) in time for the unit to detach from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet by 18 January 2002. He also orders reconstitution of the 26th MEU (SOC).411

18 December              The first 15 detainees arrive at the short-term holding facility at Kandahar Airfield.412

18 December              Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz tells reporters at the Pentagon that five detainees are now on board Peleliu (LHA-5). According to him, an Australian and John Walker Lindh, the American found among captives after a prison uprising near Mazar-i-Sharif in early December, are aboard, and the other three are yet unidentified, although “they may be fairly important people.”413

19 December              U.S. Central Command issues an execute order for continued operations in the Tora Bora region. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command readdresses the order.414

19 December              Three high-value detainees are transferred to Peleliu (LHA-5).415

19 December              Task Force 58 issues a supplement to its 18 December fragmentary order, delaying redeployment and reconstitution of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) until further notice.416

__________

409U.S. Planes Fly, But No Bombs Dropped,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12192001_200112191.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

410 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 549.

411 TF 58 Command Chronology, 96; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 386.

412 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 25.

413 “Detainees May Include Al Qaeda, Taliban Leaders,” NNS011227-17, 27 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=503; “U.S. Holds 23 Taliban, Al Qaeda; Tora Bora Search Continues,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12202001_200112201.html.

414 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 386.

415 TF 58 Command Chronology, 96.

416 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 386.

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19 December              The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 212 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 9,177.417

20 December              UN Security Council Resolution 1386 is adopted, forming the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The ISAF’s primary mission is to enable the Afghan government to provide effective security across the country and develop new Afghan security forces to ensure that Afghanistan would never again become a safe haven for terrorists.418

20 December              Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones and Lieutenant General Michael W. Hagee, commander of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, visit Sailors and Marines aboard Peleliu (LHA-5) and Bataan (LHD-5).419

20 December              Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL), a Naval Reserve officer, addresses the U.S. House of Representatives at length, underscoring the Navy’s contributions to Operation Enduring Freedom. He notes that more than 50 Navy ships have taken part in the operation and closes his remarks by thanking “the men and women of the following battle groups: Enterprise CVN-65, Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71, Carl Vinson CVN-70, Kitty Hawk CV-63, Bataan LHD-5, Bonhomme Richard LHD-6, and the many men and women of the 15th and 26th MEU (SOC)s (Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable).”420

21 December              In the first bombing mission since 17 December, Navy strike fighters and Air Force AC-130 gunships destroy a convoy of 10 to 12 vehicles leaving a compound near Khost. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.421

__________

417 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Dec. 19,” DoD News Release No. 648-01, 19 December 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3196.

418 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211; Wright, A Different Kind of War, 339.

419 TF 58 Command Chronology, 96; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 386.

420 “Kirk Statement on the Navy’s Contribution to the War in Afghanistan,” http://insidedefense.com/content/kirk-statement-navys-contribution-war-afghanistan.

421 “Afghan Campaign Entering New Phase,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12212001_200112212.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

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21 December              Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers, USAF, visits Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). In remarks delivered below deck, he asserts that Theodore Roosevelt’s Sailors “are making United States’ history” and that their efforts are helping to win the war against global terrorism. The Taliban “are no longer in control in Afghanistan, and to a large extent, you all are responsible for that—I mean every one of you,” Myers tells crewmembers.422

22 December              Hamid Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun who leads one of the largest tribes in southern Afghanistan, is sworn in as chairman of a six-month interim government.423

22 December              U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, and USO entertainers visit Peleliu (LHA-5) and Bataan (LHD-5).424

23 December              Kitty Hawk (CV-63) returns to her forward-deployed port of Yokosuka, Japan, after 83 days at sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While on station in the Arabian Sea, pilots from Kitty Hawk’s embarked Carrier Air Wing 5 flew more than 600 missions over Afghanistan, including more than 100 combat sorties.425

23 December              M Platoon, Marine Battalion Landing Team 3/6 concludes its support of maritime interdiction operations/leadership interdiction operations on board Shreveport (LPD-12) and is transferred back to Bataan (LHD-5).426

24 December              Combined Forces Land Component Command reiterates an execute order for redeployment and reconstitution of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC). In consequence, Task Force 58 issues an execute order directing 15th MEU (SOC) to commence retrograde operations and reconstitute on board the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group.427

25 December              Navy strike aircraft attack a Taliban compound at Tori Khel. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.428

25 December              Task Force 58 receives and distributes holiday care packages from Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, Peleliu (LHA-5), and Bataan (LHD-5).429

__________

422 “USS Roosevelt’s Crew Making U.S. History, Says Myers,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Dec2001/n12222001_200112221.html; “Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Visits the ‘Big Stick’,” NNS020102-02, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=534.

423 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 211; “Kitty Hawk Completes Enduring Freedom Deployment,” NNS011226-08, 26 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=481.

424 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 386.

425 “Kitty Hawk Completes Enduring Freedom Deployment,” NNS011226-08, 26 December 2001, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=481.

426 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 26–27.

427 TF 58 Command Chronology, 96; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 387.

428 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

429 TF 58 Command Chronology, 97.

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jpeg  of an F-14 Tomcat from Fighter Squadron 211 (VF-211) launching from the flight deck of John c. Stennis (CVN-74) to conduct missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom

25 December              Two sections of F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets from Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) perform aerial manoeuvres over Forward Operating Base Rhino.430

25 December              U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, visits the Sailors and Marines on board John C. Stennis (CVN-74). Standing in front of the American flag found in the rubble of the World Trade Center after 9/11, General Franks discusses the importance of the mission and expressed his heartfelt gratitude for their efforts in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. “I’m not sure that you know how special you are. I’m not sure that it won’t be a while before you get home. Whether you’re Navy, whether you’re Marines, whether you’re a SEAL, whether you’re flying these jets, whether you’re maintaining them, whether you’re green, whether you’re red, brown, the work that you do on this magnificent war machine is just absolutely out of sight,” he states.431

26 December              The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 16 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 9,193.432

27 December              Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tells reporters at a Pentagon news briefing that captured al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants will be transferred to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.433

27 December              Twenty additional detainees arrive at the short-term holding facility at Kandahar Airfield, increasing the prisoner count to 37.434

29 December              Task Group 58.4 and 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism) begin turnover of the security mission at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.435

29 December              Task Force 58 staff aboard Peleliu (LHA-5) redeploy to Naval Support Activity Bahrain.436

30 December              Navy aircraft evacuate al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees to ships in the Arabian Sea for eventual transfer to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.437

__________

     430 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 387.

431 “General Franks Brings Christmas Cheer Aboard John C. Stennis,” NNS011228-02, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=519.

432 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Dec. 26,” DoD News Release No. 652-01, 26 December 2001, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3198.

433 Katharine Q. Seeyle, “A Nation Challenged: The Detention Camp; U.S. to Hold Taliban Detainees in ‘the Least Worst Place’,” New York Times, 28 December 2001, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/28/us/nation-challenged-detention-camp-us-hold-taliban-detainees-least-worst-place.html.

434 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 27; Steven Lee Myers and Carlotta Gall, “Marines Accept 20 More Al Qaeda as Afghans Speed Up Turnover,” New York Times, 27 December 2001.

435 TF 58 Command Chronology, 97.

436 Ibid., 98.

437 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2001,” 46.

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30 December              Task Group 58.4 and 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism) complete turnover of the security mission at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.438

30 December              The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group arrives in Singapore, and begins a five-day training iteration.439

31 December              As of this date, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft have flown 75 percent of all Operation Enduring Freedom strike sorties.440

31 December              Eight high-value detainees, including John Walker Lindh, are transferred from Peleliu (LHA-5) to Bataan (LHD-5).441

31 December              Task Force 58 staff at Forward Operating Base Rhino redeploy to Naval Support Activity Bahrain.442

31 December              Commander Denny Moynihan, spokesperson for the Chief of Naval Personnel, announces that the Navy has completed identification of remains of Sailors killed in the October 2000 attack on Cole (DDG-67).443

2002

1 January                   Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aircraft fly at least 100 sorties over Afghanistan, but drop no ordnance. According to Joint Staff spokesperson Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem, the aircraft were flying in an on-call mode for close air support against emerging targets.444

__________

438 TF 58 Command Chronology, 98.

439 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 13.

440 “The New Face of Naval Strike Warfare,” RAND Corporation Research Brief, RB-9137-NAVY (2005), 1.

441 TF 58 Command Chronology, 98; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 383.

442 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 387.

443 Christopher Munsey, “Navy Completes IDs of Sailors Killed in Cole Blast,” Navy Times, 31 December 2001.

444 “U.S. Casts Dragnet to Snag Al Qaeda, Taliban Leaders,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01022002_200201023.html.

81 

3 January                   Navy strike aircraft and Air Force bombers and gunships attack an al-Qaeda cave complex at Zhawar Kili, about 30 miles southwest of Khost. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.445

3 January                   All remaining Task Force 58 elements redeploy from Forward Operating Base Rhino, thus ending its use by U.S. forces.446

3 January                   Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers, USAF, issues an execute order for detainee operations at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.447

3 January                   Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers, USAF, tell Pentagon reporters that al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees under U.S. control will be transported to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay as soon as detention facilities there are ready. U.S. forces currently hold 248 detainees: 225 in Kandahar, 14 at Bagram Air Base, one in Mazar-i-Sharif, and eight aboard Bataan (LHD-5).448

3 January                   Enterprise (CVN-65) enters an extended drydock selected restricted availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, which is slated to last approximately 12 months.449

46 January               Rear Admiral Charles R. Kubic, commander of 3rd Naval Construction Brigade, visits Navy and Marine Corps servicemembers at Kandahar International Airport.450

4 January                   Navy strike aircraft and Air Force bombers and gunships continue to attack the cave complex at Zhawar Kili. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.451

4 January                   One high-value detainee is transferred to Bataan (LHD-5).452

__________

445 “Rumsfeld, Myers Give Update on U.S. Anti-Terror War Effort,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01032002_200201033.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 549.

446 TF 58 Command Chronology, 99.

447 Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 56.

448 “Rumsfeld, Myers Give Update on U.S. Anti-Terror War Effort,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01032002_200201033.html.

449 William T. Baker and Mark L. Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” Naval Aviation News 85.5 (July–August 2003): 28.

450 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 388–389.

451 “Second Strike Hits Zawar Kili Compound; ‘Aggressive’ Search On for Bin Laden, Omar,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01042002_200201041.html.

452 TF 58 Command Chronology, 99.

82 

4 January                   U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet resumes tactical control of the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group.453

4 January                   Task Groups 58.1 and 58.2 detach from Task Force 58 and change operational command tactical control to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet as Combined Task Forces 51 and 52.454

4 January                   Captain Kenneth M. Rome, commander of Amphibious Squadron 8, is designated Deputy Commander, Task Force 58.455

5 January                   Task Force 58 provides helicopter lift and security forces to the Task Force K-Bar sensitive site exploitation mission at the Zhawar Kili cave complex, near Khowst. Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 365 inserts the raid force, consisting of a Navy SEAL platoon and 50 Marines from Company L, Battalion Landing Team 3/6, with the intent of extracting them by nightfall. Following the discovery of a mass grave, vast weapons caches, and immense amounts of data, the mission is extended for another eight days to fully exploit the site. During this period, the force directs multiple bombing missions against above- and below-ground facilities, engages a squad of enemy combatants, and captures a vehicle with two occupants.456

6 January                   Task Force 58 opens Kandahar Airfield to daylight flights.457

6 January                   The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begins providing support to Task Force K-Bar for its sensitive site exploitation mission at the Zhawar Kili cave complex, near Khowst.458

6 January                   An Afghan citizen injured in a car accident is brought to Kandahar Airfield Forward Surgical Team for urgent treatment.459

7 January                   Navy aircraft strike additional facilities in the Zhawar Kili area. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.460

__________

    453 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 388.

454 TF 58 Command Chronology, 99.

455 Ibid.

456 Ibid., 100; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 389.

457 TF 58 Command Chronology, 100; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 389.

458 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 26–30.

459 TF 58 Command Chronology, 100.

460 “U.S. Aircraft Hit Four Afghan Targets; Guantanamo Work Begins,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01072002_200201071.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “Paktia Province Becomes New Center of Concern,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01072002_200201073.html.

83 

7 January                   The Afghan citizen treated by the forward surgical team at Kandahar Airfield is turned over to Afghan medical personnel for follow-on medical treatment.461

8 January                   A Navy F/A-18 and two Air Force F-16s strike targets in the Zhawar Kili complex. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.462

8 January                   The Task Force 58 short-term holding facility capacity reaches 500, with 302 detainees being held.463

8 January                   Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 Detachment 3, embarked on board destroyer Hayler (DD-997), conducts the year’s first maritime interception operation in the Mediterranean Sea when an SH-60B Seahawk intercepts the merchant vessel Rasha J.464

8 January                   U.S. Southern Command establishes Joint Task Force 160, under the command of Brigadier General Michael Lehnert, USMC. The task force assumes operational control of detainee operations at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.

8 January                   The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group gets underway from Singapore en route to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet area of operations. The group, which carries the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), sails three days behind schedule due to a maintenance problem on Bonhomme Richard.465

8–9 January               A Marine Corps KC-130 tanker aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 352 crashes into a mountain while attempting an unassisted night landing at Bandari airfield in Shamsi, Pakistan, killing seven Marines. Elements of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) launch from Bataan (LHD-5) to assist with combat search-and-rescue operations at the crash site. Recovery operations begin and continue through 16 January.466

__________

461 TF 58 Command Chronology, 100.

462 “U.S. Aircraft Hit Zawar Kili Complex Again,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01092002_200201091.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

463 Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 56.

464 Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 549.

465 MEU Service Support Group–13 hereafter MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002 to 31 June 2002), 8.

466 “Marine Plane Crashes in Pakistan,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01092002_200201092.html; “Zawar Kili Still Focus of Afghan Fighting; Marine Crash Victims Named,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01102002_200201101.html; TF 58 Command Chronology, 101; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 30

84 

9 January                   The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) reembarks on board the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group.467

9 January                   The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 292 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of mobilized Navy reservists to 9,485.468

10 January                 Seabees complete runway repairs at Kandahar Airfield, extending the serviceable portion of the concrete runway to 6,000 feet.469

10 January                 Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet and U.S. Central Command Combined Forces Maritime Component, visits Kandahar Airfield.470

10 January                 Taliban troops launch a dismounted attack on the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)’s defensive position at Kandahar Airfield. A Navy P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft confirms the precise location of enemy troops 1,000 meters west of the defensive perimeter, enabling the Marines to effectively employ mortar illumination and thermal identification.471

10 January                 Ten high-value detainees depart Bataan (LHD-5) en route to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.472

10 January                 A Navy spokesperson announces that the Navy and Marine Corps have established policies for rotating personnel and units in and out of theater after consultation with U.S. Central Command officials. Navy and Marine Corps personnel will rotate in and out on their normal six-month rotation. “We will change that if needed,” an unnamed Navy spokesperson asserts. “We did it already with the Enterprise CVN-65 deployment, but we want to stick with the six-month deployment rotation as much as possible.”473

10 January                 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledges during a Pentagon press briefing that the transfer of al-Qaeda detainees from Afghanistan to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay may have begun.474

__________

467 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002 to 30 June 2002), 3-1.

468 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Jan. 9,” DoD News Release No. 013-02, 9 January 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3205.

469 TF 58 Command Chronology, 101.

470 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001 to 28 February 2002), 31.

471 Ibid., 33.

472 TF 58 Command Chronology, 101.

473 Jim Garamone, “Services Examine, Set Afghan Troop Rotations,” AFPS, 10 January 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=43867.

474 Jim Garamone, “U.S., Australian Defense Leaders Meet,” AFPS, 10 January 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=43864.

85 

10 January                 Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs announces that the Navy will not conduct its annual Great Lakes cruise as initially planned, owing to a significant increase in naval presence requirements, homeland security efforts, and continued support for forward deployments.475

11 January                 Navy F/A-18 strike aircraft and Air Force bombers attack targets in the Zhawar Kili area. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.476

11 January                 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters from Task Group 58.4 deliver and recover teams of Task Force K-Bar special operations forces near a suspected al-Qaeda safe house south of Gardez, Afghanistan.477

11 January                 USNS MAJ Stephen W. Pless (T-AK-3007) of Maritime Prepositioning Squadron 1 arrives at Blount Island, Jacksonville, Florida, where she loads 70 containers of fleet hospital equipment and rolling stock bound for Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.478

11 January                 The first 20 high-value detainees from Afghanistan arrive at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay. The base is to serve as a long-term holding facility for al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees. U.S. Southern Command, which has operational control of the base, has activated the 1,300-member Joint Task Force 160 to head detainee operations there under the command of Brigadier General Michael Lehnert, USMC.479

12 January                 Whidbey Island (LSD-41) provides assistance to Indian merchant vessel Riddhi Sagar, which had been adrift due to engine failure.480

13 January                 Navy F/A-18 strike aircraft, in conjunction with Air Force B-1 and B-52 bombers, drop precision munitions on the Zhawar Kili complex in eastern Afghanistan. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.481

__________

475 “Navy Cancels 2002 Great Lakes Cruise,” NNS020110-09, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=607.

476 “U.S. Using Intel to Foil Terror Attacks,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01112002_200201112.html.

477 TF 58 Command Chronology, 102.

478 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 27.

479 USMC, Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Assessment Team Summary Report, 56; “Joint Task Force Set Up in Cuba to Oversee Al Qaeda Detainees,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01112002_200201111.html; “Guantanamo Bay Naval Station Fast Facts,” http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/09/world/guantanamo-bay-naval-station-fast-facts/index.html.

480 TF 58 Command Chronology, 102.

481 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “Zawar Kili Remains Concern, 414 Detainees Under U.S. Control,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01142002_200201141.html.

86 

13 January                 Two HH-60H Seahawk helicopters from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 11 and HS-8 aboard Shreveport (LPD-12) provide sniper and AGM-114B Hellfire missile coverage for SEAL Team 8 and Special Boat Unit 20 during a nighttime boarding of maritime vessel El Obeid in the North Arabian Sea. Suspected of smuggling al-Qaeda leaders, El Obeid is inspected and seized by the boarding party, reinforced by additional Sailors from Elliot (DD-967).482

13 January                 An unnamed detainee receives treatment by Navy surgeons at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay for a gunshot wound to the upper right arm, which he sustained prior to arriving. Navy orthopedic doctors who performed the surgery estimate that the wound was approximately one month old. The surgical procedure took about two hours to complete.483

13 January                 USNS MAJ Stephen W. Pless (T-AK-3007) departs Jacksonville, Florida, en route to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.484

14–18 January           Sailors from Fleet Hospital 20, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, arrive at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay to set up the field hospital designed to treat the Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees. The hospital joins Joint Task Force 160, the multi-service security force already in place at the detainment facility, dubbed “Camp X-Ray.”485

14 January                 Joint Staff spokesperson Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem says that military operations around al-Qaeda’s Zhawar Kili complex are winding down, asserting that air strikes on 13 January leveled the remaining buildings at the site and sealed all the caves.486

14 January                 Navy and Marine Corps strike aircraft fly more than 110 sorties over Afghanistan, but drop no ordnance. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.487

__________

482 TF 58 Command Chronology, 102; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 390; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 28; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 550.

483 “Detainee Receives Surgical Treatment,” NNS020115-05, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=635.

484 Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 27.

485 “Fleet Hospital 20 Arrives in Guantanamo Bay,” NNS020125-01, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=699; Christian Lowe, “Medical Personnel Set Up Hospital for Sick Detainees at Camp X-Ray,” Navy Times, 18 February 2002.

486 Jim Garamone, “Ops Around Zawar Kili Winding Down, DoD Says,” AFPS, 14 January 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=43859; http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01142002_200201142.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

487 “50 Detainees Now at Gitmo; All Treated Humanely,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01152002_200201151.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

87 

14 January                 Amphibious Squadron 3, under the command of Captain Robert J. Connelly, is designated Task Group 58.1.488

15 January                 Operation Enduring Freedom–Philippines (OEF–P) formally begins, as advance elements of Joint Task Force 150 begin arriving in the Philippines. This joint operation, administered by Special Operations Command Pacific, targets the transnational terrorist threats and the communist insurgency in the southern Philippines.489

15 January                 Navy and Marine Corps strike aircraft fly numerous sorties over Afghanistan, but drop no ordnance.490

15 January                 Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark visits Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on station in the North Arabian Sea. During an all-hands call, Admiral Clark states: “The American people are watching what you are doing—taking the fight to the enemy—and the American people are mighty proud of the Navy that they have . . . in the United States of America. They’re proud of the Theodore Roosevelt and the CAG-1carrier air group team that’s out here on the point, making a difference.”491

15 January                 The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) enters the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility. Task Force 58 assumes tactical control of the ARG, which then steams for Kenya to participate in a bilateral exercise in support of U.S. Central Command’s Theater Engagement Plan.492

15 January                 John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban” detained after a November 2001 prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, is charged in federal court with several crimes, including conspiracy to kill nationals of the United States of America overseas, providing material support and resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations, and engaging in prohibited transactions with the Taliban. Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem indicates that Lindh is still being held aboard Bataan (LHD-5).493

__________

488 TF 58 Command Chronology, 102; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 390.

489 Lansford, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 212; Linda Robinson, Patrick B. Johnston, and Gillian S. Oak, U.S. Special Operations Forces in the Philippines, 2001–2014 (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2016), 23; “DoD News Briefing–Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers,” http://archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=2197.

490 “U.S. Forces to Help Philippines Fight Terrorists,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01162002_200201164.html.

491 Admiral Vern Clark Remarks, All Hands Call, Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), 15 January 2002, http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/clark/speeches/clark-tr020115.txt.

492 2002 Command History, Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), NHHC Archives, 2; 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002 to 30 June 2002), 6.

493 “‘American Taliban’ Charged in Federal Court,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01152002_200201153.html.

88 

15 January                 Thirty additional al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees arrive at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, bringing the total number of detainees held at Camp X-Ray to 50.494

15 January                 Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs announces that John F. Kennedy (CV-67) is continuing repairs in its homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Florida, in preparation for deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. To ensure operational security, a specific deployment date for the carrier is not provided.495

16 January                 The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) conducts formal turnover with the Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) ARG. Upon completion, the Peleliu ARG sets course for its first port visit since September 2001.496

16 January                 An air mishap board from the Naval Safety Center arrives at the crash site of the Marine Corps KC-130 tanker aircraft that crashed near Bandari airfield on 8 January while attempting an unassisted night landing. The board’s senior member assumes control of the crash site and the investigation.497

16 January                 An Air Force transport aircraft delivers 30 al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees to Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, bringing the number of detainees there to 80.498

16 January                 USNS MAJ Stephen W. Pless (T-AK-3007) docks at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, delivering medical supplies and equipment to Joint Task Force (JTF) 160. The ship also delivers all components of a Navy fleet hospital to the base for the provision of medical care to JTF-160 members as well as al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees. The fleet hospital, built of container units and tents, is a 500-bed facility that includes a surgical suite, casualty receiving area, intensive care unit, lab, and pharmacy.499

16 January                 Lieutenant General Earl Hailston, commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific, visits Sailors and Marines of the Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conducting exercises afloat and ashore in Kenya.500

__________

494 “Camp X-Ray Receives Second Group of Detainees,” NNS020115-06, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=636.

495 “USS John F. Kennedy Deployment Delayed,” NNS020118-09, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=663.

496 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 242.

497 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 31.

498 “U.S. Forces to Help Philippines Fight Terrorists,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01162002_200201164.html; “DoD News Briefing–Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers,” http://archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=2197.

499 “Navy Delivers Supplies to Cuba,” NNS020118-02, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=657; “U.S. Destroys Afghan Arms Cache, Sets Up Gitmo Hospital,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01252002_200201254.html; Weir, “Military Sealift Command’s Role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle,” 27–28.

500 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 6.

89 

17 January                 Navy and Marine Corps strike aircraft fly 140 sorties over Afghanistan, but drop no ordnance. Royal Air Force tanker, reconnaissance, and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.501

17 January                 U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command headquarters begins its forward deployment to Naval Support Activity Bahrain.502

18–21 January           Seventeen “Seabees” from Naval Construction Battalion 423, based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, conduct 24-hour operations to clear and level nearly 1.5 acres of terrain for the temporary fleet hospital at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.503

18 January                 Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 on board Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) begins flying regular combat sorties over Afghanistan.504

18 January                 The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group arrives in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility, thus concluding its participation in Operation Enduring Freedom.505

18 January                 A five-member delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross visits the detainee holding facility at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay to assess the living conditions of the 80 al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees held there.506

19 January                 Command and control of Kandahar Airfield shifts to Task Force Rakkasan.507

19 January                 Task Group 58.4 begins reconstitution aboard amphibious ready group ships.508

19 January                 Task Group 58.5 begins its redeployment to Guam.509

__________

501 “Red Cross to Visit Gitmo; U.S. and Afghan Forces Cooperate,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01172002_200201174.html.

502 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391.

503 “Fleet Hospital 20 Arrives in Guantanamo Bay,” NNS020125-01, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=699; “Guantanamo Bay – Camp X-Ray,” http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/guantanamo-bay_x-ray.htm; “Medical Facilities Built for Detainees,” NNS020125-09, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=702.

504 2002 Command History, Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), NHHC Archives, 2; Nordeen, AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom, 22.

505 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 2-2, 3-1; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391.

506 “Red Cross to Visit Gitmo; U.S. and Afghan Forces Cooperate,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01172002_200201174.html.

507 TF 58 Command Chronology, 103.

508 Ibid., 104.

509 Ibid.

90 

19 January                 The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group begins participating in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, in the waters off the East Coast as well as on training ranges in North Carolina and Florida. The JTFEX is designed to meet the requirement for effective, realistic training to prepare U.S. forces for joint and combined operations and provides the opportunity to certify the battle group for deployment. Its units include Commander, Carrier Group 6; John F. Kennedy (CV-67), with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 embarked; Commander, Destroyer Squadron 24; Hué City (CG-66); Vicksburg (CG-69); Carney (DDG-64); The Sullivans (DDG-68); Roosevelt (DDG-80); Spruance (DD-963); Underwood (FFG-36); Taylor (FFG-50); Toledo (SSN-769); Boise (SSN-764); and Seattle (AOE-3).510

20 January                 Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, visits the Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group.511

20 January                 The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begins preparations for return to the continental United States and reconstitution on board the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.512

20 January                 After experiencing engine failure during a resupply mission, a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 365—attached to the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group—crashes in a mountainous area about 40 miles southeast of Kabul, killing two Marines and injuring five others.513

22 January                 John Walker Lindh is transferred from Bataan (LHD-5) to a military base at Kandahar International Airport.514

22 January                 Shreveport (LPD-12) completes maritime interdiction operations tasking in support of Task Force 50 and returns to the tactical control of Commander, Task Group 58.1.515

22 January                 At a Pentagon news briefing, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says allegations that U.S. military personnel are mistreating al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay are “just plain false.” He commends servicemembers guarding the detainees, saying that they are performing a difficult and dangerous job “in a professional and truly outstanding way.”516

__________

__________

510 “JFK Battle Group to Conduct Second Phase of Joint Task Force Exercise,” NNS020206-08, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=818.

511 TF 58 Command Chronology, 104.

512 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 34.

513 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391; “Marine Chopper Crash Kills 2, Injures 5,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01202002_200201201.html.

514 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 383.

515 TF 58 Command Chronology, 104.

516 “Mistreatment Allegations ‘Just Plain False’,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01222002_200201223.html.

91 

23 January                 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft fly more than 100 sorties over Afghanistan, but drop no ordnance. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.517

23 January                 The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 251 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 9,736.518

24 January                 Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aircraft fly more than 140 sorties over Afghanistan, though Navy and Marine Corps aircraft drop no ordnance. Royal Air Force support aircraft fly operational sorties.519

24 January                 U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet resumes tactical control of the Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group, in preparation for Exercise Edged Mallet.520

24 January                 Department of Defense officials say that the number of al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay has risen to 158.521

24 January                 Navy chaplain Lieutenant Abuhena M. Saiful-Islam is assigned to Joint Task Force 160 to advise the commanding general on issues pertinent to the spiritual and religious needs of the detainees at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay and minister directly to the detainees themselves. Saiful-Islam is currently one of three Navy Muslim chaplains and one of 14 in the U.S. military.522

__________

517 Jim Garamone, “More Detainees Will Move to Gitmo; Actions Continue in Afghanistan,” AFPS, 24 January 2002, http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01242002_200201241.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

518 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Jan. 23,” DoD News Release No. 034-02, 23 January 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3217.

519 Jim Garamone, “U.S. Destroys Afghan Arms Cache, Sets Up Gitmo Hospital,” AFPS, 25 January 2002,  http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01252002_200201254.html; “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm.

520 TF 58 Command Chronology, 105; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391.

521 Jim Garamone, “U.S. Destroys Afghan Arms Cache, Sets Up Gitmo Hospital,” 25 January 2002, http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01252002_200201254.html.

522 “Muslim Chaplain Arrives at Guantanamo Bay,” NNS020124-10, 25 January 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=694; Christian Lowe, “Muslim Chaplain Treads Fine Line at Guantanamo Bay,” Navy Times, 28 February 2002.

92

25 January                 Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aircraft fly numerous sorties over Afghanistan. An Air Force AC-130 gunship destroys a “very large cache” of arms and ammunition discovered the day before by U.S. forces during raids on suspected Taliban leadership compounds at Hazar Qadam. Royal Air Force (RAF) tanker aircraft provide aerial refuelling support, while RAF reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft fly operational sorties.523

25 January                 Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 26 relinquishes the remainder of its combat service support functions at Kandahar International Airport to Task Force Rakkasan.524

25 January                 Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Air Detachment completes airfield repair mission and mission essential projects at Kandahar Airfield, and begins its return to Guam. Responsibility for future projects turns over to Task Force Rakkasan engineers.525

26 January                 The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group completes participation in Phase 1 of Joint Task Force Exercise 02-1.526

27 January                 Coalition aircraft fly approximately 113 sorties over Afghanistan.527

27 January                 Los Angeles-class submarine Greeneville (SSN-772) and Austin-class amphibious transport dock Ogden (LPD-5) collide in the North Arabian Sea while preparing to transfer Sailors who had been granted emergency leave. The collision creates a 5-inch-by-18-inch puncture in one of Ogden’s fuel tanks, 15 feet below the water line on its starboard side, spilling several thousand gallons of fuel. Greeneville’s port stern plane also suffers damage.528

27 January                 Two CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters from Task Group 58.4 provide casualty evacuation in support of Operational Detachment Alpha at Kandahar.529

__________

523 “Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001–December 2002,” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212174735/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanChronologyOfEventsSeptember2001December2002.htm; “U.S. Destroys Afghan Arms Cache, Sets up Gitmo Hospital,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01252002_200201254.html.            

524 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391.

525 TF 58 Command Chronology, 105; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391.

526 “JFK Battle Group to Conduct Second Phase of Joint Task Force Exercise,” NNS020206-08, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=818.

527 “Rumsfeld, Karzai to Meet; U.S. Raids Afghan Hospital, U.S. Ships Collide,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01282002_200201281.html.

528 2002 Command Operations Report, Greeneville (SSN-772), NHHC Archives, 1; 2002 Command Operations Report, Ogden (LPD5), NHHC Archives, 3; “U.S. Submarine, Ship Collide in North Arabian Sea,” CNN, http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/01/28/uss.greeneville/; “U.S. Navy Vessels Collide at Sea,” NNS020128-01, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=712; Christopher Munsey, “Not Again?! Collision Marks Greeneville’s Third At-Sea Incident in a Year,” Navy Times, 11 February 2002.

529 TF 58 Command Chronology, 105.

93

27 January                 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers, USAF, visit Joint Task Force 160 troops at Naval Station (NS) Guantánamo Bay. To ease criticism from European allies and human rights groups over the treatment and legal status of detainees, a congressional delegation of four senators—Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)—accompanies them. Secretary Rumsfeld tells reporters on the flight to NS Guantánamo Bay that Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees are not prisoners of war but rather “unlawful combatants.” “Don’t forget,” he adds, “we’re treating these people as if the Geneva Convention applied.”530

28 January                 During his first visit to the United States, Afghan Interim Authority Chairman Hamid Karzai meets with President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA. At an appearance in the White House’s Rose Garden following their meeting, President Bush announces that the United States will help Afghanistan establish and train its own military. He also praises Karzai as a determined leader who stood for freedom in the face of tyranny. During a meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, Karzai discusses various matters, including the 482 al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees under U.S. control, 324 of which are in Afghanistan while the remaining 158 are at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.531

28 January                 Task Force 58 completes transfer of control of Kandahar Airfield to Task Force Rakkasan.532

28 January                 A detachment of Marines from Task Group 58.4 completes the Khowst security mission and returns to the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.533

28 January                 At a Pentagon news briefing, Rear Admiral John D. Stufflebeem provides details on the collision of Greeneville (SSN-772) and Ogden (LPD-5). The two collided while transferring personnel from the submarine to the transport ship, he said. In the maneuvering to close the ships, he said, “they bumped—the starboard aft side of the Ogden, to the control side of the port side of the Greenville. The two aft ends touched.” No one is reported injured in the collision.534

28 January                 The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group arrives in Perth, Australia, its first liberty port since 12 September 2001.535

29 January                 Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James Herdt visit Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).536

__________

530 “Rumsfeld Visits, Thanks U.S. Troops at Camp X-Ray in Cuba,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01272002_200201271.html.

531 “U.S. Gains Custody of More Detainees,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01282002_200201284.html; “U.S. to Help Afghanistan Develop Military,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01282002_200201285.html.

532 TF 58 Command Chronology, 105.

533 Ibid., 106.

534 “Afghan Forces Lead Hospital Raid, U.S. Ships Collide,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Jan2002/n01282002_200201283.html; Andrea Stone, “Navy Sub, Transport Ship Collide in Oman,” USA Today, 28 January 2002, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2002/01/28/ships.htm.

535 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 2–4.

536 “CNO, MCPON, Chief of Chaplains Visit Sailors on the Point,” NNS020722-21, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=2723.

94

30 January                 The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 272 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 10,008.537

31 January                 Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Air Detachment completes its return from Kandahar to Guam.538

1 February                 An F/A-18 Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 of John C. Stennis’s (CVN-74) Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, makes an emergency landing at a forward operating base (FOB) in Afghanistan after its refueling basket becomes disconnected from an Air Force KC-10 during in-flight refueling operations and shattered the Hornet’s canopy. Lieutenant Commander Anthony Wright flies his aircraft safely to the FOB while combating severe windblast, cold temperatures, possible injury, and catastrophic damage from the remaining 10-foot section of the refueling hose still attached to the basket. An airborne E-2C Hawkeye from the “Golden Hawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 provides vectors to the FOB and coordinates the diversion. The Hawkeye aircrew also conducts advance contact with the FOB to prepare for the Hornet’s arrival, while concurrently contacting John C. Stennis, enabling a recovery effort to begin even before the damaged aircraft had landed.539

2 February                 The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begin participation in Exercise Edged Mallet, a bilateral humanitarian assistance exercise near Manda Bay Naval Base, Kenya.540

3 February                 Combined Forces Land Component Command relinquishes tactical control over Task Force 58 and orders all Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) forces to return on board amphibious ready group shipping. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet reassumes operational control over all amphibious forces.541

__________

537 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Jan. 30,” DoD News Release No. 043-02, 30 January 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3221.

538 TF 58 Command Chronology, 106; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 391.

539 “John C. Stennis/Airwing 9 Team Takes Right Action during Emergency Divert,” NNS020201-08, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=784; David Brown, “‘I’m Flying a Convertible’ 22,000 Feet Up with a Smashed Canopy: A Potential Disaster Becomes a Memorable Tale,” Navy Times, 11 March 2002.

540 MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–31 June 2002), 8; 2002 Command History, Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), NHHC Archives, 2.

541 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 36; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 254, 392.

95

3 February                 U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet establishes Combined Task Force 150 to deny the sea to terrorists by countering the illegal movement of weapons and people off the Horn of Africa. Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore designates Commander Amphibious Squadron 3, Rear Admiral Christopher C. Ames, embarked in Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), as Commander Task Force 150. The task force’s area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa, Somalia Basin, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Strait of Hormuz, covering more than 2.4 million square miles of ocean and 6,000 miles of coastline bordering 12 countries.542

3 February                 Vella Gulf (CG-72) assumes duties as maritime interception operations support ship.543

4 February                 Seaman Apprentice David Wilse Parkhurst is reported missing from George Washington (CVN-73), which is conducting training operations off the coast of North Carolina. George Washington’s crew conducts an internal search of the ship for Seaman Apprentice Parkhurst and scours its most recent operating area.544

4 February                 John F. Kennedy (CV-67) completes more than 30 hours of sea trials, meeting or exceeding all standards necessary to prove the aircraft carrier is safe and reliable to conduct sustained combat operations.545

4 February                 The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group begins participation in Phase 2 of Joint Task Force Exercise 02-1.546

5 February                 Brigadier General James N. Mattis, USMC, and his staff redeploy from Kandahar Airfield to Naval Support Activity Bahrain, ending Task Force 58’s initial participation ashore in Afghanistan.547

6 February                 Colonel Anthony P. Frick, commander of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), and his staff arrive back at the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group. The last Marines of the expeditionary unit depart Kandahar Airfield.548

6 February                 The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group completes participation in Phase 2 of Joint Task Force Exercise 02-1.549

__________

542 Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 201; Schneller, Anchor of Resolve, 100; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 550.

543 Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-2002-2013.html.

544 “USS George Washington Sailor Missing,” NNS020204-08, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=802.

545 “Sea Trials Anything but Trying for JFK,” NNS020206-05, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=810.

546 “JFK Battle Group to Conduct Second Phase of Joint Task Force Exercise,” NNS020206-08, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=818.

547 TF 58 Command Chronology, 69, 106.

548 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 36.

549 “JFK Battle Group to Conduct Second Phase of Joint Task Force Exercise,” NNS020206-08, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=818.

96

6 February                 The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 67 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 10,075.550

7 February                 White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer announces that the Bush administration will afford the safeguards of the Geneva Conventions to Taliban detainees but not to detained al-Qaeda fighters. Taliban detainees are being given protections, Fleischer states, because Afghanistan is party to the treaty, even though the United States does not formally recognize the Taliban government.551

7 February                 In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, asserts that Afghanistan is no longer a safe harbor for al-Qaeda terrorists. General Franks also states that military operations inside Afghanistan continue to eliminate pockets of resistance, to exploit intelligence, and to search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. The United States, he says, “will not reach a military operational end state in Afghanistan as long as there is a credible threat from puddles or pockets of al-Qaeda or residual hard-core Taliban.”552

7 February                 Coalition aircraft fly 107 sorties over Afghanistan, but conduct no strikes.553

7 February                 The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group, under the command of Rear Admiral Steven J. Tomaszeski, deploys from Naval Station Mayport, Florida.554

7 February                 The search for Seaman Apprentice David Wilse Parkhurst, missing from George Washington (CVN-73) since 4 February, is suspended and the ship resumes normal operations.555

7 February                 Another 28 detainees arrive at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, bringing the total number of detainees at the base to 186.556

_________

550 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Feb. 6,” DOD News Release No. 058-02, 6 February 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3230.

551 “Taliban Detainees to get Geneva Conventions Protection,” CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/02/07/ret.factsheet.facts/index.html.

552 Linda D. Kozaryn, “Franks: Al Qaeda’s Safe Harbor Is Gone,” AFPS, 7 February 2002, http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Feb2002/n02072002_200202072.html.

553 “U.S. Following Up on Predator Strike; More Detainees Headed for GITMO,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Feb2002/n02082002_200202083.html.

554 Rachel Davis, “Kennedy Sets Sail,” Florida Times-Union, 8 February 2002, http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/020802/met_8563371.html#.WBOLjTa7p7g.

555 “Daily News Update for Feb. 7, 2002,” NNS020207-04, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=824.

556 “U.S. Following Up on Predator Strike; More Detainees Headed for GITMO,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Feb2002/n02082002_200202083.html.

97

8 February                 Task Group 58.4 completes its return to the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.557

8 February                 In a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark introduces the Navy’s newest multi-mission helicopter, the MH-60S Knighthawk, which will assume the CH-46D Sea Knight’s mission of carrier battle group logistical support, including inter-battle group replenishments of ordnance and supplies, and personnel transport. “This helicopter will make our force more lethal and combat-capable,” Admiral Clark states.558

9 February                 The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) reconstitutes on board the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group. The unit definitively extended the perceived operational reach of a deployed amphibious force by conducting combat operations deep into Afghanistan at distances of 750 miles from Navy ships in the North Arabian Sea.559

10 February               Vice Admiral Timothy J. Keating assumes command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet from Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore.560

12 February               Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) conducts Operation Hand Clasp off the coast of Lamu, Kenya, distributing pallets of toys, school supplies, and hospital supplies.561

13 February               An air-ground task force from Task Group 58.4 deploys from the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group to support Task Force K-Bar sensitive site exploitation missions approximately 30 nautical miles northeast of Gardez.562

13 February               In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark states that nearly 60 Navy ships have thus far participated in Operation Enduring Freedom and more than 9,000 sorties have been flown by Navy aircraft over Afghanistan. He also asserts that the Navy’s response to the 9/11 attacks underscores the “mobility, lethality, and reach” of naval forces.563

_________

557 TF 58 Command Chronology, 106.

558 “CNO Introduces the Navy’s Newest Helicopter to the Fleet,” NNS020226-03, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=926.

559 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 37; Kummer, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001–2009, 373; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 392.

560 “Change of Command,” Naval Aviation News 84.5 (July–August 2002): 54; “News Breaks,” Navy Times, 25 February 2002.

561 2002 Command History, Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), NHHC Archives, 2.

562 TF 58 Command Chronology, 70, 107; 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 37.

563 “Statement of Admiral Vernon E. Clark, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Before the House Armed Services Committee, 13 February 2002,” http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/testimony/clark020213.txt; “‘Ready to Fight, Ready to Win’–SECNAV, CNO, CMC Address House Armed Services Committee,” NNS020214-06, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=876.

98

13 February               The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 219 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 10,294.564

16–19 February         Vella Gulf (CG-72) intercepts, boards, and seizes the motor vessel Lina as a suspected Iraqi oil smuggler in the Gulf of Oman. After M/V Lina enters international waters and fails to answer repeated bridge-to-bridge queries, Vella Gulf initiates a non-compliant boarding of the vessel. An eight-person Coast Guard law enforcement detachment embarked on the cruiser, as well as the ship’s helicopter, small boat, and support boarding elements, board Lina and execute a non-compliant seizure of the vessel. Boarding teams encounter reinforced and welded entrances, as well as aggressive ship maneuvering designed to hamper their ability to board the ship. At one point, Lina maneuvers threateningly and appears intent on ramming Vella Gulf, closing to within 150 yards, but swift maneuvering by the cruiser’s bridge watch team neutralizes the threat of collision. Vella Gulf then tows Lina to a holding area in the Persian Gulf. Subsequent investigation reveals that Lina was operating as a communications ship to guide oil smugglers.565

19 February               Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) sets an endurance record with 153 continuous days at sea without a port visit.  Prior underway records include the carrier Nimitz (CVN-68)—at 144 days at sea in 1979—eclipsed one year later by the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), which steamed for 152 days without a port visit.  Eisenhower’s 1980 deployment totaled 251 days, broken up only by a five-day port call.566

20 February               Combined Forces Land Component Command relinquishes tactical control over Task Group 58.4’s air-ground task force, enabling it to return to the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.567

20 February               The Department of Defense announces that the Navy has called another 303 members of the Naval Reserve to active duty. This brings the total number of Navy reservists mobilized for active duty to 10,597.568

__________

564 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Feb. 13,” DoD News Release No. 070-02, 13 February 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3237.

565 “Navy Ship Seizes Iraqi Oil Smuggler,” NNS020301-11, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=959; http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-2002-2013.html.

566 David Brown, “Tough Teddy: Carrier Theodore Roosevelt Sets Deployment Record,” Navy Times, 4 March 2002; VMFA-251 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–3 March 2002), 4.

567 TF 58 Command Chronology, 70, 107; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 392.

568 “National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Feb. 20,” DoD News Release No. 080-02, 20 February 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3243.

99

 

21 February               Commander William Edwards, commanding officer of Ogden (LPD-5), is relieved of command as a result his ship’s 27 January collision with Greeneville (SSN-772). Although an investigation continues into what caused the collision and who, if anyone was at fault, Commander Edwards is relieved “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.” Captain Jon Berg-Johnsen temporarily takes command of Ogden.569

21 February               The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conclude participation in Exercise Edged Mallet.570

23 February               Vella Gulf (CG-72) escorts Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) through the Strait of Hormuz.571

23 February               The last of 53 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, return to Guam. The 20 Seabees arrived at Andersen Air Force Base aboard an Air Force C-5 Galaxy from Kuwait, where they had been cleaning construction equipment while awaiting onward airlift since departing Kandahar on 2 February.572

25 February               The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conducts bilateral training with Pakistani military.573

26 February               Vice Admiral Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet, stands down Task Force 58.574

26 February               The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) hosts Pakistani distinguished visitors aboard Bataan (LHD-5).575

27 February               In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, states that his command “remains on the offensive” in Afghanistan, as there is “much left to be done.”576

__________

569 Michael Gordon, “Captain of USS Ogden Removed,” Honolulu Advertiser, 7 March 2002, http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2002/Mar/07/br/br05p.html; David Brown, “Ogden Skipper Relieved of Command, Temporary CO Named,” Navy Times, 11 March 2002.

570 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 10; MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 19.

571 Vella Gulf (CG-72), http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/vella-gulf-ii/vella-gulf-ii-2002-2013.html.

572 “Seabees Return from Afghanistan,” NNS020301-14, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=951.

573 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 104.

574 TF 58 Command Chronology, 107; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 255.

575 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 104.

576 “Franks: ‘Much Left to Be Done’ in Afghanistan,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Feb2002/n02272002_200202276.html.

100

27 February               The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) concludes bilateral training with Pakistani military and recovers aboard the ships of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.577

28 February               Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) makes a scheduled port call in Bahrain after 159 consecutive days at sea.578

28 February               The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group departs the coast of Pakistan and sails for the port of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, to conduct in-port maintenance stand down.579

28 February               Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) conducts an operational risk management stand-down.580

28 February               A spokesperson for Joint Task Force (JTF) 160 indicates that some of the 300 al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees in the temporary holding facility at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay have refused to eat in the last several days. “By no means is this an organized, concerted effort by the camp’s detainee population, but merely a demonstration of some of the detainees’ displeasure over the uncertainty of their future,” Marine Major Steve Cox, JTF-160’s public affairs officer, says in a prepared statement.581

1 March                      The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group transits the Strait of Hormuz, en route to Jebel Ali.582

1 March                      Pentagon officials assert that tensions have eased in the al-Qaeda and Taliban holding area at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay. “The commander of the holding facility and the Muslim chaplain have been out and around speaking to the detainees,” Air Force Brigadier General John Rosa states during a press briefing. Fewer than 70 detainees had refused meals earlier in the day, while 194 had refused lunch the day before.583

2 March                      Operation Anaconda commences against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in the Shahi-kot Valley, south of Gardez. During the first day of combat operations, half of all planned air strikes by Coalition aircraft are aborted at the last minute due to the proximity of U.S. troops to the intended targets.584

__________

577 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 104.

578 Grant, Battle-Tested, 98.

579 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–28 February 2002), 38.

580 2002 Command History, Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), NHHC Archives, 2.

581 “Some Al Qaeda, Taliban Detainees Refuse Food,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Feb2002/n02282002_200202284.html.

582 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 6.

583 “Tension Eases at Guantanamo Holding Facility,” http://osd.dtic.mil/news/Mar2002/n03012002_200203012.html.

584 Richard W. Stewart, Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2001–March 2002, CMH Publication 70-83-1 (Washington, DC: Center for Military History, 2004), 37; Wright, A Different Kind of War, 127–129; “Operation Anaconda Overview,” http://sites.duke.edu/agsp/files/2013/11/Operation-Anaconda-Overview.pdf; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 185.

101

2 March                      Task Force Rakkasan encounters heavy resistance after landing on the eastern side of the Shah-i-Kot valley, resulting in battle damage to seven Army AH-64 Apache helicopters. A division of F/A-18C Hornets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VFMA) 251 on board Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) provides close air support to the beleaguered troops, making multiple passes and firing several hundred rounds of 20mm cannon fire apiece.585

2 March                      Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 165 on board Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) sends five AH-1W Super Cobras and three CH-53 Sea Stallions to Task Force Mountain at Bagram, in support of Operation Anaconda.586

2 March                      The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group arrives in Jebel Ali for a port call and maintenance stand-down.587

2 March                      Rear Admiral Albert M. Calland, U.S. Central Command’s special operations component commander, visits Sailors and Marines aboard Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6). While there, Rear Admiral Calland receives a capabilities brief from Colonel Christopher J. Gunther, commanding officer of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).588

2 March                      The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group arrives off Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.589

3 March                      One day into Operation Anaconda, Coalition aircraft have dropped approximately 200 precision-guided munitions on al-Qaeda positions.590

3 March                      The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group departs Masirah, en route to the coast off Pasni, Pakistan.591

__________

585 Grant, Battle-Tested, 99; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 393.

586 Grant, Battle-Tested, 99; Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 183; Nordeen, AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom.

587 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 34.

588 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 6; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 268–269.

589 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 2–13.

590 Lambeth, Air Power Against Terror, 186.

591 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 269.

102

3 March                      On U.S. Central Command’s orders, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) forms Task Force (TF) 165 in support of Operation Anaconda. It includes 80 Marines, five AH-1W Super Cobras, three CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, and KC-130 Hercules aircraft in addition to daily AV-8B Harrier II sorties from Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6).592

3 March                      The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begins its final offload of equipment and personnel from the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group.593

4 March                      U.S. special operations forces encounter heavy enemy fire during three successive attempts to land teams on Takur Ghar (code-named Objective Siberia) in the Arma Mountains of southeastern Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of seven U.S. servicemembers and loss of two MH-47 Chinook helicopters. F-14 Tomcats from Fighter Squadron (VF) 211 and F/A-18s from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VFMA) 314 on board John C. Stennis (CVN-74) provide close air support to the beleaguered troops.594

4 March                      The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group reaches Pasni, Pakistan, just before dawn. After sunrise, three CH-53 Sea Stallion heavy-lift helicopters and five AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters fly to Bagram, some 730 miles north of the coast.595

4 March                      The Department of the Navy identifies the crewmembers of an F-14 Tomcat that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea on 2 March after launching from John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Deceased is the pilot, Lieutenant Commander Christopher M. Blaschum, 33. The radar intercept officer, Lieutenant (j.g.) Rafe Wysham, 25, is listed in good condition. Both were recovered by search-and-rescue helicopters from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 5 and small craft launched from John F. Kennedy and The Sullivans (DDG-68) following their ejection from the aircraft. John F. Kennedy was conducting flight-training operations in the Mediterranean about 50 nautical miles south of Crete, en route to relieve Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), when the accident occurred.596

4 March                      The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group transits the Suez Canal and joins Fifth Fleet.597

__________

592 Kummer, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001–2009, 373; Edgar Fleri, Ernest Howard, Jeffrey Hukill, and Thomas R. Searle, “Operation Anaconda Case Study,” College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education, Maxwell Air Force Base (November 2003), 20.

593 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 July 2001–31 December 2001), 2–13.

594 Leigh Neville, Takur Ghar: The SEALs and Rangers on Roberts Ridge, Afghanistan 2002 (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2013), 34–63; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 393.

595 Ibid., 269, 393; Fleri et al., “Operation Anaconda Case Study,” 20.

596 “Naval Aviator Killed, Another Injured in Eastern Mediterranean Crash,” NNS020304-07, 4 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=979.

597 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 2.

103

4 March                      The Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group docks at Naval Base San Diego, California, ending its seven-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.598

5 March                      Marine AV-8B Harriers of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 165 on board Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) fly their first mission in support of Operation Anaconda.599

5 March                      The Department of Defense announces the names of seven Navy, Army, and Air Force servicemembers killed in action on Takur Ghar in southeastern Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda on 4 March, including Aviation Boatswain’s Mate-Handling (SEAL) Petty Officer First Class Neil C. Roberts, 32. Petty Officer First Class Roberts was a 14-year veteran of the Navy and was assigned to a Norfolk-based SEAL unit. Petty Officer First Class Roberts is the first Navy SEAL and the first Sailor killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom.600

6 March                      The John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) relieves the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) CVBG in the North Arabian Sea. John F. Kennedy’s embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 flies its first missions in support of Operation Anaconda. Kennedy thus becomes the sixth aircraft carrier to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom strike missions.601

6 March                      Marine AV-8B Harriers of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 165 on board Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) fly their second mission in support of Operation Anaconda.602

7 March                      The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group concludes its port visit to Jebel Ali and gets underway, steaming for the Red Sea.603

8 March                      An F-14 Tomcat assigned to Fighter Squadron (VF) 211 aboard John C. Stennis (CVN-74) crashes into the North Arabian Sea as it attempts to land on the aircraft carrier. The ship’s search-and-rescue helicopter safely recovers both fliers, neither of whom suffered serious injuries.604

__________

598 2002 Command Operations Report, Dubuque (LPD-8), NHHC Archives, 6; 15th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 2–4.

599 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 275.

600 “DoD Identifies Those Killed in Operation Anaconda,” DOD News Release No. 101-02, 5 March 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=3255; “Courage Under Fire: Navy SEAL Killed in Action Remembered,” NNS020311-07, 11 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1027; “DoD Briefing on Afghanistan,” 6 March 2002, http://insidedefense.com/document/dod-briefing-afghanistan-0; Christopher Munsey, “SEAL Among Eight Service Members Killed in Operation Anaconda,” Navy Times, 18 March 2002.

601 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 29.

602 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 276.

603 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 34.

604 “F-14 Crashes Off USS John C. Stennis; Aviators Safely Recovered,” NNS020308-16, 8 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1025; “News Breaks,” Navy Times, 18 March 2002.

104

 

8 March                      The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) begin participating in Exercise Eastern Maverick, an 11-day amphibious exercise focusing on mechanized operations with the Qatar Armed Forces.605

10 March                    Hué City (CG-66) detaches from the John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group en route to the Gulf of Aden.606

12 March                    During a night strike in support of a Coalition ground controller, Fighter Squadron (VF) 11 “Red Rippers” deliver the first MK-84 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) from a fleet F-14B Tomcat in a combat situation. Prior to this deployment, JDAM could only be carried by F/A-18 Hornets, owing to software and hardware limitations.607

13 March                    Operation Anaconda transitions to Operation Harpoon and the exploitation of enemy sites.608

14 March                    Pentagon spokesperson Torie Clarke states that approximately 1,000 U.S., Canadian, and Afghan troops are entering al-Qaeda and Taliban caves in the Anaconda area of operations, and are finding ammunition, weapons, and intelligence information.609

14 March                    The Wasp (LHD-1) Amphibious Ready Group reports to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet, replacing the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).610

14 March                    The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group transits the Strait of Bab El-Mandeb, escorted by Hué City (CG-66).611

15 March                    Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, USMC, tell reporters at the Pentagon that Operation Anaconda has been “highly successful to date.”612

15 March                    Hué City (CG-66) conducts visit, board, search, and seizure exercise with Shreveport (LPD-12).613

__________

605 MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–31 June 2002), 12.

606 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 2.

607 Chris Alves, “JDAM Becomes ‘Lethal Weapon’ for CVW-7,” CHIPS (Summer 2002): 23; Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 29; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 551.

608 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 394.

609 Jim Garamone, “Operation Anaconda Enters Exploitation Phase,” AFPS, 14 March 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44251.

610 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 34.

611 Ibid.; 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 2.

612 Gerry J. Gilmore, “Anaconda Is Success; Enemy Killed Unknown, Say Officials,” 15 March 2002, http://archive.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44244.

613 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 2.

105

15 March                    Kitty Hawk (CV-63) returns to her forward-deployed station in Yokosuka, Japan, after spending three days at sea testing equipment, training crewmembers, and conducting drills. Kitty Hawk had gotten underway on 12 March after a two-and-a-half-month in-port period, during which she underwent engineering plant maintenance and weapons systems upgrades.614

16 March                    Combined Joint Task Force Mountain Commander declares the end of Operation Anaconda.615

17 March                    The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU SOC) conducts face-to-face turnover and transfer of selected equipment with the 22nd MEU (SOC) aboard Bataan (LHD-5).616

18 March                    Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 depart their forward-deployed bases to complete scheduled carrier qualifications and integrated battle-group training. Kitty Hawk’s departure is the second in as many weeks, following four days of sea trials that included limited flying from the ship by a select group of CVW-5 aircrew.617

18 March                    The Wasp (LHD-1) Amphibious Ready Group transits Bab El-Mandeb, escorted by Hué City (CG-66).618

19 March                    U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy R. Franks, USA, declares that Operation Anaconda has officially ended.619

19 March                    The Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) conclude their participation in Exercise Eastern Maverick.620

20 March                    President George W. Bush  reports to Congress on military efforts in the “global war on Terrorism,” noting that the “heart of the al-Qaeda training capability” had been “seriously degraded,” and that the remainder of the Taliban and the al-Qaeda fighters were being “actively pursued and engaged by the U.S., Coalition and Afghan forces.” The President also states that the Navy continues to conduct maritime interception operations “to locate and detain suspected al-Qaeda or Taliban leadership fleeing Afghanistan by sea.”621

__________ 

614 “Kitty Hawk Crew Returns from Sea Trials, Ready for Next Mission,” NNS021119-04, 15 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=4615.

615 Fleri et al., “Operation Anaconda Case Study,” 31.

616 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 34.

617 “Kitty Hawk, Air Wing Team Up to Complete Carrier Quals,” NNS020320-03, 20 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1107.

618 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 2.

619 Stewart, Operation Enduring Freedom, 44; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 394.

620 MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–31 June 2002), 12.

621 Torreon, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 20–21.

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21 March                    The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group begins its transit of the Suez Canal.622

21 March                    Hué City (CG-66) conducts visit, board, search, and seizure together with RFA Diligence (A132).623

22 March                    Robert Finn is sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.624

22 March                    The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group concludes its transit of the Suez Canal and falls under the operational command of Sixth Fleet.625

22 March                    The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) recovers Marines providing anti-terrorism and force protection support to MV Saturn aboard the ships of the Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group.626

25 March                    By this date, Coalition warships conducting leadership interdiction operations in the North Arabian Sea have made 7,244 queries and have boarded 47 vessels.627

26 March                    Five AH-1W Super Cobras and three CH-53 Sea Stallions from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 165, which had supported Task Force Mountain during Operation Anaconda, depart Bagram and return to the Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) Amphibious Ready Group.628

26 March                    The Navy returns the “Ground Zero” flag made famous by Bergen County Record photographer Tom Franklin to a delegation from New York City in a ceremony at sea on board Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). The flag had been raised on 11 September 2001 at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the attack. Presented to Admiral Robert J. Natter, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, by New York officials on 23 September 2001, the flag was flown on ships of the Theodore Roosevelt carrier battle group and other Navy units deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.629

__________

622 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 34; Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 394.

623 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 3.

624 Hanagan, “The Changing Face of Afghanistan,” 37.

625 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 35.

626 Ibid.

627 Schneller, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” 200.

628 Lowrey, U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 284, 394.

629 “WTC ‘Ground Zero’ Flag Returned to New York City Delegation,” NNS020324-03, 24 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1136.

107

27 March                    Chief Hospital Corpsman (SEAL) Matthew J. Bourgeois, 35, is killed and another service member is wounded by an explosion of enemy munitions at a remote site southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.630

27 March                    The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Carrier Battle Group returns from its six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During her deployment, the carrier’s embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 flew more than 10,000 sorties and dropped more than 1.7 million pounds of ordnance.631

27 March                    The Department of the Navy announces that Carl Vinson (CVN-70) has received the 2001 Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle “E,” one of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon a Navy ship. Carl Vinson and her crew competed for the title of the most combat-efficient aircraft carrier in the Pacific fleet with four other carriers: Kitty Hawk (CV-63), Constellation (CV-64), Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), and John C. Stennis (CVN-74).632

29 March                    The Department of Defense announces that, as of this date, more than 21,700 munitions have been dropped or fired on al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in 36,564 sorties.633

31 March                    Guam-based Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 5 receives the first three MH-60S Seahawk helicopters to be delivered to an operational fleet squadron.  The MH-60S and its sister, the MH-60R, are the Navy’s newest helicopter airframes.  MH-60S is the planned replacement for the aging Boeing H-46 transport helicopters. 634

1 April                        The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group reconstitutes in the Ionian Sea.635

2 April                        A multipurpose MH-53 helicopter carrying six crewmembers and 12 Navy and Marine Corps personnel crashes at a landing strip in Manama, Bahrain, shortly after takeoff.  One servicemember suffers minor injuries.636

__________

630 “DoD Identifies Navy SEAL Killed in Afghanistan,” NNS020328-04, 28 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1172; Barbara Starr, “U.S. Navy SEAL Killed near Kandahar,” CNN, 28 March 2002, http://www.edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/central/03/28/ret.afghan.us.soldier/index.html.

631 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 29–30; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 551; William H. McMichael, “All Eyes on the Roosevelt Battle Group’s Return from War Draws Attention of Nation’s Media,” Navy Times, 8 April 2002.

632 “Carl Vinson Takes Battle ‘E’ Award,” NNS020327-07, 27 March 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1159.

 

633 Vernon Loeb, “‘Friendly Fire Probed in Death,” Washington Post, 30 March 2002, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/03/30/friendly-fire-probed-in-death/703bb974-26ae-4332-9146-35bc085b5f25/.

634 “Guam-based Squadron Takes Delivery of MH-60S Helicopters,” Defense Daily 214.4, 4 April 2002; Evans and Grossnick, United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, 1: 551.

635 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 35.

636 “News Breaks,” Navy Times, 15 April 2002.

 

108

3 April                        Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) concludes equipment wash-down in Qatar.637

4 April                        The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group begins equipment wash-down and agricultural inspection at Naval Station Rota, Spain.638

5 April                        Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) and Pearl Harbor (LSD-52) arrive pierside in Bahrain for ship maintenance and resupply operations. Due to increasing security threats, liberty for Sailors and Marines is restricted to Naval Support Activity Bahrain.639

8 April                        Hué City (CG-66) assumes duties as Combined Task Force 150 Air Defense Commander.640

9 April                        Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) and Pearl Harbor (LSD-52) depart Bahrain.641

9 April                        The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group concludes equipment wash-down and agricultural inspection, and departs Naval Station Rota, Spain, en route to the United States.642

10 April                      Navy spokesperson Ensign David Luckett confirms that the two-carrier presence in the North Arabian Sea, a fixture of Operation Enduring Freedom since its beginning on 7 October 2001, will shortly end.  “We’re going down to one carrier in the region,” Ensign Luckett asserts, because U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy Franks, USA, “has determined he doesn’t need two carriers now,” explaining the rationale for the reduction in carrier group strength. “The decision does not mean that the war on terrorism is over,” Luckett emphasized, as “naval forces will remain on station as long as power-projection capabilities are required.” 643

11 April                      The Bataan (LHD-5) Amphibious Ready Group departs Sixth Fleet.644

15 April                      Six F/A-18D Hornets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All Weather) (VMFAAW) 121 arrive in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, initiating the first naval aviation fighter operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from that country.645

__________

637 MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 19. 

638 Ibid., 20.

639 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 6; MSSG-13 Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002), 15.

640 2002 Command Operations Report, Hué City (CG-66), NHHC Archives, 3.

641 13th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 January 2002–30 June 2002).

642 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 35.

643 William H. McMichael, “Reduced Presence: Only One Carrier Will Patrol the Arabian Sea,” Navy Times, 22 April 2002.

644 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 35.

645 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 30.

109

15 April                      Kitty Hawk (CV-63) gets underway from its forward-deployed homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, with its embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, for operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.646

15 April                      North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic returns to the eastern Mediterranean Sea for a second deployment as Task Force Endeavour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.647

16 April                      Destroyers Ross (DDG-71), Ramage (DDG-61), and Hayler (DD-997) return to Naval Station Norfolk.648

19 April                      Bataan (LHD-5) completes offload of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) elements and equipment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, with the exception of general and bonded cargo. Shreveport (LPD-12) and Whidbey Island (LSD-41) complete offload of the expeditionary unit’s elements and equipment pierside at Morehead City Port, North Carolina.649

24–25 April                Bataan (LHD-5) completes offload of general and bonded cargo at Naval Station Norfolk Virginia.650

26 April                      At a ceremony in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark presents the Purple Heart to Lieutenant Kevin Shaeffer, who sustained life-threatening injuries when the Navy Command Center in which he worked exploded into a ball of fire as terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the southwestern wedge of the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.  Lieutenant Shaeffer endured burns to over 40 percent of his body, underwent numerous surgeries, and was medically retired from the Navy due to his injuries.651

30 April                      Destroyer Carney (DDG-64) and frigate Underwood (FFG-36) deploy from Naval Station Mayport to join the John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group, which has been operating in the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom since 6 March.652

__________

646 William H. McMichael, “Ace in the Hole,” Navy Times, 20 May 2002.

647 Baker and Evans, “Year in Review 2002,” 30.

648 “Late Deployers Return,” Navy Times, 29 April 2002.

649 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 36; Christian Lowe, “One Final Landing: After a Seven-Month Deployment, Bataan ARG Sailors, Marines Come Home,” Navy Times, 29 April 2002.

650 26th MEU (SOC) Command Chronology (1 March 2002–30 June 2002), 36.

651 “CNO Presents Purple Heart to Pentagon Survivor,” NNS020429-07, 29 April 2002, http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=1494.

652 “Frontlines,” Navy Times, 13 May 2002.

110

Appendix—Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations, and Acronyms

AGM        Air-to-Ground Missile
AOR           Area of Responsibility
ARG        Amphibious Ready Group
CAS        Close Air Support
CENTCOM         United States Central Command
CG          Cruiser, Guided Missile
CMC         Commandant of the Marine Corps
CNO        Chief of Naval Operations
CTF          Combined Task Force
CV         Aircraft Carrier, Fixed Wing
CVBG         Carrier Battle Group
CVN        Aircraft Carrier, Fixed Wing, Nuclear
CVW        Carrier Air Wing
DD        Destroyer
DDG        Destroyer, Guided Missile
DoD        Department of Defense
EUCOM         European Command
FOB        Forward Operating Base
HC         Helicopter Combat Support Squadron
HS         Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron
HSL        Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light
ICRC         International Committee of the Red Cross
JDAM         Joint Direct Attack Munition
LGB        Laser-Guided Bomb
LHA         Landing Helicopter Assault (general purpose amphibious assault ship)
LHD         Landing Helicopter Deck (multipurpose amphibious assault ship)
LPD         Landing Platform Dock (amphibious transport dock)
LSD        Landing Ship Dock
MCPON        Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
MEU        Marine Expeditionary Unit
MIO        Maritime Interception Operations
MSC        Military Sealift Command
MSSG        Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group
M/V        Maritime Vessel/Merchant Vessel
NATO        North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NAVCENT        U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
NMCB         Naval Mobile Construction Battalion
NWC        Naval War College
OEF        Operation Enduring Freedom
ROE        Rules of Engagement
Seabee        Sailor assigned to a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion
SEAL        Sea, Air, and Land (the Navy’s principal special operations forces, officially termed Special Warfare Operators)

111 

SECDEF        Secretary of Defense
SECNAV           Secretary of the Navy
SLAM-ER        Standoff Land Attack Missile–Extended Range
SOC        Special Operations Capable
SOF        Special Operations Forces    
SSBN        Ballistic Missile Submarine, Nuclear-powered
SSN         Submarine, Nuclear-powered
T-AH        Hospital Ship
T-AO        Fleet Replenishment Oiler
T-AOE        Fast Combat Support Ship
TF        Task Force
TLAM        Tomahawk Land Attack Missile
UN        United Nations
USA        United States Army
USAF        United States Air Force
USMC        United States Marine Corps
USNS        United States Naval Ship
VBBS        Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure
VFA        Strike Fighter Squadron
VMA        Marine Attack Squadron
VMFA        Marine Fighter Attack Squadron
VMGR        Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron

 

112

[END]

 

 

Published:Fri Aug 18 14:56:14 EDT 2017