US military assets in and near Iraq

LOLITA C. BALDOR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Barack Obama weighs options for potential U.S. intervention in Iraq, the Pentagon has a broad range of ground, air and sea troops and assets in the region. They include:

–Six warships in the Persian Gulf, including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, a cruiser, three destroyers and the amphibious transport ship the USS Mesa Verde, which is carrying about 550 Marines and five V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft.

–About 5,000 U.S. soldiers across the border in Kuwait, as part of a routine rotational presence. They include the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, a combat aviation brigade and other support troops.

–Air Force aircraft capable of a full range of missions positioned within range of Iraq. According to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James they include F-15E, F-16 and F-22 fighters; B-1 bombers, C-130 cargo planes and A-10 attack jets.

–Intelligence gathering and surveillance assets, including drones, in the region.

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