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US deploys floating "mothership" to counter Mideast threats like Iran, Al Qaeda

A floating US base that can can house high-speed boats and SEAL team helicopters may be deployed to deal with rising threats in the Middle East, especially Iran, Al Qaeda in Yemen an Somali pirates.

Us navy seal team 6 rescue 2012 1 25Enlarge
Team 6 became front page news following the May 2 raid at Osama bin Laden's compound. Here, US soldiers from 703rd EOD Company, 2nd Platoon, Team 6, return with their armored vehicles following a controlled detonation of munitions outside Camp Clark in Mandozai district, Khost province, eastern Afghanistan on July 4, 2011. (TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

A floating US base that can can house high-speed boats and SEAL team helicopters may be deployed to deal with rising threats in the Middle East, especially Iran, Al Qaeda in Yemen an Somali pirates. 

Also, according to the Washington Post:

The ship will allow US Special Operations Command greater flexibility in responding to pirates like SEAL Team 6 did on Wednesday.

(GlobalPost reports: Navy SEALs: Dramatic rescue shows new Obama Doctrine

The Pentagon is scrambling to deploy the aging amphibious transport docking ship it had planned to decommission, the USS Ponce, the paper reports, citing unspecified documents.

The vessel, decommissioned in March, will undergo a refit in order for deployment in the region by early summer as a "mothership," or makeshift staging base, for the commandos in response to requests from US Central Command.

Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the Navy's Fleet Forces Command, declined to elaborate on the floating base's purpose or to say where, exactly, it will be deployed in the Middle East, The Post wrote.

Special operations forces are a key part of President Barack Obama's strategy to make the military leaner and more agile as the Pentagon confronts at least $487 billion in spending cuts over the next decade, the paper noted.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/war/military/120128/iran-somali-pirates-seal-team-6-uss-ponce-us-commandos