Why It's Called 'Odyssey Dawn'

The answer is ... kind of dull
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2011 12:59 PM CDT
Why US Libya Military Operations Are Called 'Odyssey Dawn': It Had to Start With 'O'
This March 19 photo provided by the US Navy shows the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout as it launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn from the Mediterranean Sea.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 3rd Class, Jeramy Spivey)

(Newser) – What does the name “Odyssey Dawn” have to do with the military operations in Libya? Actually, not a thing, reports the Washington Post. “The goal is to create a name that has absolutely nothing to do with the activity of the region, so you could walk down the street in Washington during the planning stages and ensure that nobody knows it’s about Libya,” says a spokesman for US Africa Command. The name itself stems from a Pentagon lettering scheme.

Under the scheme, AFRICOM operations can start with letters from JS-JZ, NS-NZ, and OA-OS. Recent exercises and operations have started with J and N, so Libya had to be O. Commanders gathered a few weeks ago and chose “Odyssey” as the only acceptable “O” word. From there, “they sat around and brainstormed for a random word that went well with it,” said the spokesman. (Read more Operation Odyssey Dawn stories.)

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