The guided missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG-72) has left the Eastern Mediterranean en route to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., according to several press reports.
Mahan’s departure leaves four destroyers left to undertake an anticipated limited strike on Syria.
Mahan had a planned ballistic missile defense (BMD) deployment extended in the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations while it waited for the U.S. to take action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21.
Four destroyers — USS Stout (DDG-55), USS Ramage (DDG-61), USS Barry (DDG-52) and USS Gravely (DDG-107) — are left in Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) in range of Syrian targets.
There are also likely U.S. submarines in the region to assist in the attack, although the Navy does not typically discuss the positions of its submarine force.
U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class (SSN-688) and Virginia-class (SSN-744) are capable of firing TLAMS as well as four Ohio-class guided missile submarines (SSGN). The SSGNs are capable of fielding 154 TLAMs.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee calling for U.S. military action in Syria, following a Saturday declaration from President Barack Obama that he’d get congressional approval from Congress before striking Syria.
The committee could vote on a draft resolution on a limited strike as early as today.