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The New Operational Paradigm: Operation Odyssey Dawn and the Maritime Operations Center

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Journal article

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Operation Odyssey Dawn OOD was the U.S. response to United Nations Security Council UNSC Resolution 1973, which called for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya and the protection of Libyan civilians from the rampaging security forces of Muammar Qadhafi. The revolt of Benghazi and resulting destabilization of Libya was a product of the Arab Spring movement sweeping through the Maghreb, which had already caused the downfall of Hosni Mubarak s regime in Egypt and the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia. Qadhafi responded to local protests with the brute force of his military, an act that quickly prompted the United Nations to determine that without foreign intervention, tens of thousands of innocent civilians could be massacred in direct violation of basic human rights. The joint forces of U.S. Africa Command USAFRICOM were poised to act in defense of Libya s civilians. Unlike previous U.S. joint operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, which permitted the buildup of forces and months of planning, Odyssey Dawn was in execution only a month after a U.S. Naval Forces Europe CNENaval Forces Africa CNASixth Fleet C6F operational planning group was stood up, and only 15 days after the establishment of Joint Task Force JTF Odyssey Dawn. This compressed timeline, the dynamic and shifting environment in Libya, and the U.S. Presidential order of no boots on the ground threw the ball directly into the hands of the U.S. Navy. The CNECNAC6F Maritime Operations Center MOC reacted superbly in this ad hoc atmosphere due to the education of much of the staff by joint and naval doctrine, as well as good staff planning at the operational level of war.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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