It’s debatable if President Trump should have ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired into a military airbase in Syria. Early reactions are that it was a good strategic move for the gas attacks on civilians. One can also debate whether he has the authority in such an adventure, though LBJ set that precedent in the Gulf of Tonkin two generations ago.
There is no debate where the missiles came from: Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. Nearly all US Navy ships in the 5th Fleet operate in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and it was from the Med where these strikes originated. When the ships come back from deployment to Norfolk Navy Base, they have a week to shake down operations and get to Yorktown to offload their missiles. That way, an enemy attack at Norfolk can’t blow up the ships. We don’t want another Pearl Harbor.
Tomahawk launched from a surface ship.
I researched missiles years ago for a lecture I delivered as publisher of The Virginia Gazette. In the 99-year history of Naval Weapons Station, there has been only one serious explosion. It was during World War II, before the Tomahawk and other cruise missiles were developed. Seven men died.
Tomahawk launched from a Navy submarine.
As we sail the York River past the pier at Naval Weapons on beautiful afternoons, sailing guests are surprised to learn that the munitions are actually manufactured on base. The warheads arrive in one truck, the powder in another, the fins in a third, and so on. They used to arrive by train. We don’t want fully constructed bombs and missiles hijacked on the highway.
Navy destroyers usually arrive mid-day Monday and depart by Thursday or Friday. There’s no way for civilians to tell any increase in traffic due to the Syria strike. 59 missiles is a day’s work for the Navy.
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