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Could our Miltary Aircraft/units made it to Benghazi in time to save lives?

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Unnamed Defense Department officials have stated that no units could have responded in time and  that there were no Refueling Tankers  available.

However, the unnamed and unknown Defense Department officials failed to mention that we have a U.S. Navy installation at NATO Base Sigonella Sicily Italy  which can refuel any type of military aircraft and is less than two hours away from Benghazi.  In March of 2011, an AP story by Nicole Winfield reported the following regarding Sigonella’s  role against the Gadhafi regime:

“Details about possible military action against Gadhafi were being discussed by 22 world leaders gathered at an emergency summit in Paris, as Libyan forces attacked rebel-held Benghazi, the heart of the uprising, with troops, tanks and warplanes.

Sigonella’s size and close proximity to Libya makes it a key staging point for any possible international strikes, but other bases were being readied as well, including the U.S. air base at Aviano in northern Italy.

Witnesses reported Saturday that five new American F-18s, two C-17s and a C-130 cargo plane landed Saturday at the base, which is home to the 31st Fighter Wing.”

Our Air Force  31st Fighter wing is based in Aviano Italy and they have F16 fighter aircraft squadrons that are combat ready 24/7 . The F16  can attain  speeds of Mach  0.6, 6 miles per minute to  Mach 1.6 or 1,217 miles/hour and a maximum range of 2, 762 miles with a full tank . Aviano is 609 miles from Sigonella and Sigonella is 477 miles from Benghazi.  Aviano based Fighter aircraft could have easily been in Benghazi airspace  in a couple of hours and after refueling in Sigonella, had enough fuel to  buzz the compound several times.

According to Fox News, the Annex team also had Ground Laser Designators, or GLD. A Laser Designator is a laser light source which is used to designate a target and could have been used to ‘paint” the terrorist targets for our F16s.

Col. David Hunt, a Fox News military analyst, said the military could have had jets in the air within 20 minutes and forces on the ground within two hours.

“The issue is always political with the White House, but the secretary of defense gives the order, has to be approved by the White House, they wouldn’t pull the trigger, and it’s disgraceful,” Hunt said. “We’ve got guys dead.”

Special Ops halted from responding to Benghazi attacks, U.S. diplomat says

By Ernesto Londoño,May 06, 2013

As the weakly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya came under attack the night of Sept. 11, 2012, the deputy head of the embassy in Tripoli 600 miles away sought in vain to get the Pentagon to scramble fighter jets over Benghazi in a show of force that he said might have averted a second attack on a nearby CIA complex.

Hours later, according to excerpts of the account by the U.S. diplomat, Gregory Hicks, American officials in the Libyan capital sought permission to deploy four U.S. Special Operations troops to Benghazi aboard a Libyan military aircraft early the next morning. The troops were told to stand down.

Defense Department officials have said they had no units that could have responded in time to counter the attack in Benghazi, but Republicans on Capitol Hill have questioned whether the Obama administration could have saved lives with a nimbler, more assertive response. They say that the reluctance to send the Special Operations troops may have, at the very least, deprived wounded Americans in Benghazi of first aid.


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