The United States is sending the USS Bataan amphibious assault ship off the coast of Libya in response to the fragile security situation in the country.
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), the 1 000 marines on board the vessel will be able to intervene should the US embassy need to be evacuated.
According to an anonymous defence official, the vessel will be deployed in the area in a matter of days as a precautionary move. However, the Associated Press reports that the ship will not sail near Libya but will be present in the Mediterranean.
The USS Bataan was taking part in military exercises in the Red Sea when it got was given notice to move into the Mediterranean Sea, according to The Virginia-Pilot.
The United States military has 250 marines, seven Ospreys and three tankers in Sognella, Italy, ready to provide assistance in the area.
On Tuesday the US State Department recommended that American citizens leave Libya immediately due to security concerns. “U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately,” the department said in a statement.
The US Bataan (LHD-5) is a Wasp class amphibious assault ship that can carry AV-8B Harrier jets, Osprey tiltrotors and various transport and attack helicopters.