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Old 09-14-2018, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
Since Op Omega was a MAJOR operation for the US, I assume a complete and full withdrawal would be wanted. That means every single asset possible.

If 2 carrier groups were available, the idea of leaving all your heavy equipment behind seems all that more unlikely.
Omega was only possible because the the crude oil in the tanker the Germans had in their possession. The US paid for that oil with their heavy equipment, and also, the available shipping did not allow them to take much in the way of equipment anyway - perhaps a few light communications vehicles and/or a helicopter or two.
Available shipping capacity is barely enough to allow the approximately 43,000 Americans remaining in Europe to leave at the same time. In order for everyone to make it, strict adherence to the baggage allowance will be enforced.
We can also be fairly certain there's one ship which was in the area a few months before which was not involved in Omega - the USS Tarawa. The notes for plate C1 in the Nautical/Aviation Handbook locates it with the Atlantic Fleet in 2000, likely in the first half of the year. If it was still seaworthy it would have been the flagship (a floating command centre is one of it's main roles) in preference to the USS John Hancock, which at best probably had an ad hoc command post set up in the hangar.

Given Omega required the German crude oil to be possible, it's therefore very likely most, if not all surviving nuclear powered ships in the hemisphere were heavily damaged and unseaworthy, otherwise, why was the oil needed, and the limited capability Spruance class Destroyer, the USS John Hancock, the Flagship?
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