Entries in Operation Odyssey Dawn (3)


Secretary Clinton Says Allies Have Saved Many Libyan Lives

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out forcefully Wednesday in support of U.S. participation in coalition efforts to protect Libyan civilians.

The operation to neutralize Col. Moammar Gadhafi's air power by establishing a no-fly zone over Libya has been getting more negative reviews than positive lately from U.S. lawmakers, as well as countries not involved in the limited international offensive labeled Operation Odyssey Dawn.  Critics say the mission is ill-defined and ultimately meaningless if Gadhafi remains in power.

However, Clinton insisted, "Many, many Libyans are safer today because the international community took action," which was the primary goal of the United Nations Security Council resolution approved one week ago.

The former first lady reiterated the Obama administration's call for Gadhafi to relinquish his four-decade-long leadership of Libya.

Meanwhile in Cairo, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that even as the U.S. prepares to hand off the lead role in the offensive to its allies within days, attacks against Gadhafi's military forces could continue indefinitely.

Gates also admitted that the coalition has been unable to get an accurate assessment of the strength of rebel forces opposed to Gadhafi's rule, which makes predicting how long the mission will take an even more difficult task.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libya: Two US Air Force Members Eject From Malfunctioning Jet

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images(BENGHAZI, Libya) -- Two crew members ejected from their U.S. Air Force F-15 E Strike Eagle after an equipment malfunction caused the plane to crash 25 miles east of Benghazi, Libya on Monday night, according to U.S. officials. Both had only minor injuries, and were safely recovered.

In Ghot Sultan, the wreckage of the F-15 is drawing a stream of curious visitors. People on the scene say one helicopter came to the site and fired warning shots as it touched down. It found one crewman and ferried him away.

That pilot is in good condition and is aboard the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Libya. The pilot was picked up by a Marine search and rescue team aboard the ship who flew an Osprey tiltrotor and CH-53 helicopters for the mission.

The second airman was picked up by villagers who had some work convincing him that they were friendly. An opposition council member came to the scene and took him to Benghazi, locals told ABC News. "He was treated with dignity and respect," the Pentagon said, and is now in back in U.S. hands.

The aircraft, based out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath in northern England, was flying out of Aviano Air Base in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn at the time of the incident.

The loss of the plane is under investigation and the identities of the crew members will be released after the next of kin have been notified. Officials blamed the crash on mechanical problems, but say until they recover the airplane, they cannot with absolute certainty determine the cause.

This is the first reported incident of a coalition aircraft crashing during the conflict in Libya. The last time the Marines rescued a pilot, it was from the same ship in 1995, when Capt. Scott O'Grady was shot down over Bosnia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Air Force Warplane Crashes in Libya; Crewmen Safe After Ejecting

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Ammons(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. Air Force warplane went down in Libya Monday night, forcing the two crewmen onboard to eject from the aircraft, according to officials.

In a statement released Tuesday, U.S. Africa Command said the F-15E Strike Eagle went down over northeast Libya around 10:30 p.m. Central European Time after the aircraft experienced equipment malfunction.  The two crew members who abandoned the plane have been rescued and are said to be safe.  Their identities are being withheld until their loved ones are notified.

The warplane flew out of Aviano Air Base in Italy in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The cause of the incident is currently being investigated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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