Naval Air: January 29, 2003

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The biggest problem, if Saudi Arabia bans use of its airspace, for a US war on Iraq, is not the loss of bases. There are plenty more of those in Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, and Qatar. The problem is that the Navy doesn't want to pack all four of its carrier battle groups into the Persian Gulf and was planning to use the Red Sea for two of them, refueling the strike aircraft as they fly over Saudi Arabia. If the Saudis allow support aircraft to fly from their bases, then tankers based there could meet the Red Sea strike groups in mid-air coming and going.--Stephen V Cole

 


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