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USS Bataan In Mediterranean Sea To Aid In Possible Libya Evacuations

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

22nd MEU Marines practice Marine Corps Martial Arts on USS Bataan flight deck, May 16.

As the U.S. State Department urges all American citizens to leave Libya, the USS Bataan has moved into the Mediterranean Sea in case the warship is needed for evacuations from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, according to Agence France-Presse.

An unnamed defense official told AFP the USS Bataan, with 1,000 Marines aboard, would be in the area "in a matter of days":

The move was described as "precautionary" in case conditions in Libya, where militia battles have plunged the country into anarchy, worsen and require the embassy's evacuation.

The Military Times reports the Bataan will not be positioned off the coast of Libya, but rather...

It more likely would remain in the region, and could move or respond quickly if called.

The Bataan, with roughly 1,000 Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, was taking part in military exercises in the Red Sea when it got notice to move into the Mediterranean Sea, according to The Virginia-Pilot. The Bataan is homeported in Norfolk.

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