Virginia-based Navy destroyers ready for missile strike on Syria

Posted at 7:39 AM, Aug 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-27 07:40:30-04

Norfolk, Va. (WTVR) – The USS Gravely, the USS Mahan, the USS Barry and the USS Ramage, all Norfolk-based destroyers, are now sailing in the Mediterranean Sea and they are ready for action in Syria if their nation calls.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair called the West to military action Tuesday over reports of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The office of the current prime minister, David Cameron, said Tuesday that the country's military was making "contingency plans" with regards to Syria.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called the use of chemical weapons a "moral obscenity" that could not go unanswered, and he said Syrian actions are "not the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide."

The Obama administration is now weighing how to respond in talks with U.S. allies and members of Congress, he said.

The use of a large amount of chemical weapons would cross a "red line" and threaten U.S. interests in the region, President Obama announced last year.

It may give the United States cause to take action.

The USS Mahan left Naval Station Norfolk last December to deploy to the 6th Fleet area of responsibility. Fast forward eight months, and Mahan families were expecting to have the ship home in the next week.

Now, they will have to wait longer.

The Ramage left Naval Station Norfolk two weeks ago to relieve the Mahan.

Both have cruise missiles and with a strike as one of the military options available to President Obama, the Navy told the Mahan to stay put indefinitely for extra firepower.

The USS Barry left for the Mediterranean in February. That ship was only supposed to deploy for six months, but families back then were prepared for a possible extension.

As for the USS Gravely, it’s the ships maiden deployment and the first trip overseas for many of its sailors.

Gravely families were also preparing for a homecoming soon, but no one knows yet how the involvement in Syria will impact its return to Norfolk.