“The goals of these initial operations are essentially twofold: first, to prevent further attacks by regime forces on Libyan citizens and opposition groups, especially around Benghazi, and second, to degrade the regime’s capability to resist the no-fly zone we are implementing under that United Nations resolution,” Gortney said shortly after the attacks were launched.
Most of the targets were on or near the coast and around the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Gortney said. The coalition carefully picked the targets, he added, which either threatened coalition pilots or through use by the regime, posed a direct threat to the people of Libya.
For now, Gortney told reporters, Operation Odyssey Dawn is under the command of Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III is the commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn aboard the command ship USS Mount Whitney. Locklear commands U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, as well as NATO Allied Joint Forces Command.
Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, briefs reporters at the Pentagon on the launch of Operation Odyssey Dawn