The U.S. submarine force responded to the call for forces to support Operation Odyssey Dawn, rapidly providing the Joint Force commander with potent firepower to enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions. The contributions of the converted Ohio-class submarine USS Florida (SSGN-728) are specifically noteworthy, as it was the first time this transformational platform participated in an operational strike.
As 2010 drew to a close, a desperate act of self-immolation by a destitute young fruit-and-vegetable merchant in Tunisia ignited what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. Mohamed Bouazizi’s final protest against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s repressive regime mobilized the masses in Tunisia and energized popular movements across North Africa and the Middle East. Ben Ali abdicated in January 2011, and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was toppled shortly thereafter. Libya’s mercurial Moammar Gadhafi, similarly threatened by a revolution, moved decisively to repress the nascent movement in his country.