Two unnamed Navy ships currently in the Black Sea will be available if a security crisis at the Sochi Olympics demands it, according to an announcement Monday by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John F. Kirby:
U.S. commanders in the region are conducting prudent planning and preparations should that support be required.
Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested for all manner of contingencies in support of -- and in consultation with -- the Russian government.
Stars and Stripes reports Navy officials will not release the names of the two warships in the Black Sea "citing a policy against discussing ship movements."
An unnamed official explained to CNN that the U.S. State Department would be in charge of evacuating American citizens from the Olympics if a terrorist attack were to take place. But the U.S. would need the OK from Russia first before they could act:
But planes and ships are clearly there "if something happens like a major terrorist attack and we need to get Americans out," the official said.
U.S. contingency planning calls for warships to launch helicopters to Sochi from the Black Sea. C-17 transport aircraft would be on standby in Germany and could be on the scene in about two hours.
The Associated Press reports that as of Tuesday morning, the Russian police are hunting for three female bombers, known as "black widows," whom they fear are plotting terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Olympics.