Commander 6th Fleet Vice Admiral Kendall Moranville, USN was anxious to unsheathe his command’s offensive sword and take the fight directly to the Warsaw Pact homelands. The Eastern Med was secure and Moranville wanted to turn his surface ships and submarines to the next phase of wartime operations. Two destroyers attached to the Saratoga battlegroup were equipped with the land attack version of the Tomahawk cruise missile, ubiquitously known throughout the fleet as the TLAM. Additionally, three of 688 attack subs equipped with the Vertical Launch System for launching TLAMS, were en route to the eastern Med. Once they were in place, Moranville planned to use the subs, and Saratoga group to launch TLAM and air strikes against Warsaw Pact land forces gathering in Bulgaria. Orginially, he wanted to use the TLAMs for direct strikes against Soviet ports and airfields on the Black Sea coast, but Washington nixed the idea outright. There were concern and questions at the White House and Pentagon about how the Soviets might respond to missile strikes against its homeland. There was no way for Moscow to know whether or not inbound missiles contained conventional or nuclear warheads. In the heat of the moment, a misjudgment could inadvertently turn the conflict nuclear. For the time being, TLAM strikes would be restricted to targets in Bulgaria, and possibly Romania as well. Moranville, aboard his command ship USS Belknap, was expecting to have all of the pieces in place by dusk next day.
Sixth ATAF was revising its priorities and concentrating on maintaining air superiority over its airbases instead of across its entire area of responsibility. The change was temporary, however, with the amount of damage inflicted on Sixth ATAF aircraft, and bases, it was necessary. Air superiority over Thrace was not as important at the moment as maintaining control of the skies over western Turkey.
In Thrace, skirmishes along the frontier with Bulgarian forces was revealing a lot to Turkish and Greek commanders. The Bulgarians were not especially capable soldiers, and showed little inclination to deviate from the Soviet tactics and doctrine they were trained to execute. When those tactics did not work, Bulgarian commanders did not make the necessary adjustments. This solid adherence to flawed tactics and doctrine, couple with the truth that the Bulgarians were equipped mostly with obsolete Soviet weapons and equipment had the Turks and Greeks becoming confident about their chances against the Bulgarian Army. The Soviets were another matter entirely.