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USS Kearsarge Joins Operation Shining Express

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS030613-11 Release Date: 6/13/2003 10:23:00 AM

From Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) has been directed to join forces in support of Operation Shining Express, to aid in the potential evacuation of U.S. citizens from the country of Liberia. The ship's return date is currently undetermined.

At the request of the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia and at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. European Command has sent the military support to the region to provide the ambassador an enhanced capability to monitor the current situation in Liberia and to be pre-positioned to aid in any evacuation of U.S. citizens.

The operation includes special operations forces, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and Reserve components. Currently, Operation Shining Express personnel are augmenting security forces at the Embassy in Monrovia and supporting State Department officials who are conducting an orderly departure of U.S. citizens wishing to leave the country.

Operation Shining Express Forces will redeploy as soon as it is determined that the threats to the embassy compound have ended or an evacuation, if necessary, is completed.

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