Pentagon says ships harassed by Iran

Jerry1

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Pentagon says ships harassed by Iran By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer
10 minutes ago



WASHINGTON - In what U.S. officials called a serious provocation, Iranian boats harassed and provoked three U.S. Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to explode the American vessels.

U.S. forces were on the verge of firing on the Iranian boats in the early Sunday incident, when the boats — believed to be from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy — turned and moved away, a Pentagon official said. "It is the most serious provocation of this sort that we've seen yet," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman called it a "serious incident. This is something that deserves an explanation."

Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the weekend incident was "something normal" and was resolved.

National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the United States urges the Iranians "to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future."

The incident occurred at about 5 a.m. local time Sunday as Navy cruiser USS Port Royal, destroyer USS Hopper and frigate USS Ingraham were on their way into the Persian Gulf and passing through the strait — a major oil shipping route.

Five small boats began charging the U.S. ships, dropping boxes in the water in front of the ships and forcing the U.S. ships to take evasive maneuvers, the Pentagon official said.

There were no injuries but the official said there could have been, because the Iranian boats turned away "literally at the very moment that U.S. forces were preparing to open fire" in self defense.

The official said he didn't have the precise transcript of communications that passed between the two forces, but said the Iranians radioed something like "we're coming at you and you'll explode in a couple minutes."

At the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack said he was not aware of any plans to lodge a formal protest.

"Without specific reference to this incident in the Strait of Hormuz, the United States will confront Iranian behavior where it seeks to do harm either to us or to our friends and allies in the region," McCormack told reporters. "There is wide support for that within the region and certainly that's not going to change."

Whitman said the Pentagon will work with State and National Security Council officials to determine "the appropriate way to address this with the Iranian government."

The U.S. vessels were in international waters, making a normal transit into the Gulf, Whitman said, adding that the Iranian boats were operating at "distances and speeds that showed reckless and dangerous intent — reckless, dangerous and potentially hostile intent."

He said the episode lasted 15 to 20 minutes but wouldn't say whether officials know for certain whether the were vessels were Iranian Revolutionary Guard or regular Iranian navy. The Revolutionary Guard forces have been known to be more aggressive than the regular navy.

"At least some were visibly armed. Small Iranian fastboats made some aggressive maneuvers against our vessels and indicated some hostile intent," Whitman.

Historical tensions between the two nations have increased in recent years over Washington's charge that Tehran has been developing nuclear weapons and supplying and training Iraqi insurgents using roadside bombs — the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.

In another incident off its coast, Iranian Revolutionary Guard sailors last March captured 15 British sailors and held them for nearly two weeks.

The 15 sailors from HMS Cornwall, including one woman, were captured on March 23. Iran claims the crew, operating in a small patrol craft, had intruded into Iranian waters — a claim Britain denied.

The weekend incident came as President Bush prepared for his first major trip to the Middle East. While scheduled to meet the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other regional nations Jan. 9-16, Bush is expected to try to bolster the troubled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians but is also likely to seek backing for U.S. concerns about Iran.

At about this time last year, Bush announced he was sending a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf region in a show of force against Iran. The U.S. Navy quietly scaled back to one carrier group several months later. But while the two were there, they staged two major exercises off Iran's coast.

The war games amounted to U.S. muscle-flexing at a time when Tehran increasingly was at loggerheads with the international community over its disputed nuclear program and threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz for oil transports in case of a U.S. military strike on Iran.

Since then, there have been diplomatic overtures aimed at calming tensions.

The United States maintains nearly 40,000 troops in Gulf countries other than Iraq, with the largest group in Kuwait and others in Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Gulf of Tonkin anybody?
 

Budyzir

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Nov 12, 2004
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#2
When I read this earlier today and my first thought was that this was some kind of strategy to probe the Navy's defensive operations. This could be the first of several operations to see how ships would react to potential threats in an effort to discover an exploitable weakness. No doubt, the 5th Fleet brass is rewriting the SOPs for Gulf operations.
 

THE FEZ MAN

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Aug 23, 2002
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i saw the video on the news and heard the audio, im thinking this is just bull shit shenanigans, that being said, the squids should have used them as ma duce target practice
 

Budyzir

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i saw the video on the news and heard the audio, im thinking this is just bull shit shenanigans, that being said, the squids should have used them as ma duce target practice
Fez Man, I always consider and respect your opinion but, in this situation, I must say, my brother, the squids did the right thing.

I posted about how I thought the Iranians were trying to probe the ship's defensives but, now I'm wondering if they weren't trying to cause an international incident prior to the Prez's tour of the Middle East.

Think about it, if they (the bad guys) had been blown out of the sea .... what a publicity rush for the Iranians. Now they got nothing AND are trying to play it down.

All this horse shyt about "normal interaction" .... long established, Rules of the Sea outline the code of conduct between warships of different nations. I have no doubt in my Navy mind that they were looking for martyrdom prior to Bush's trip.
 

THE FEZ MAN

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the video i saw was quite poor, from what i could see they looked like civilian vessels, more like a bunch of play boys out fucking off in there hopped up ski boats, looking to fuck with some navy boys, i wouldnt put it past the Iranians to try to provoke an attack then claim "we were only joshin" to do exactly what you said, try smear some blood on bush, just like they did back in the 80's with the air liner
 

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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#7
the video i saw was quite poor, from what i could see they looked like civilian vessels, more like a bunch of play boys out fucking off in there hopped up ski boats, looking to fuck with some navy boys, i wouldnt put it past the Iranians to try to provoke an attack then claim "we were only joshin" to do exactly what you said, try smear some blood on bush, just like they did back in the 80's with the air liner
 

jrsaint

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Feb 13, 2006
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#8
I saw the video. I would have pumped those speedboats with 50 cal rounds coming out of the Phalynx automatic machine guns.(They are the big white domed tubes in every Aegis weapons system onboard all US Navy ships.) Then I would tell the iranian government we have ichie trigger fingers, so if they want to try that again, they better be prepared. FUCK THOSE ASSHOLES.
 

Budyzir

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..... (They are the big white domed tubes in every Aegis weapons system onboard all US Navy ships.) ....
We used to call CIWS "R2D2 with a hard on" :haha7:
 

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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#10
I saw the video. I would have pumped those speedboats with 50 cal rounds coming out of the Phalynx automatic machine guns.(They are the big white domed tubes in every Aegis weapons system onboard all US Navy ships.) Then I would tell the iranian government we have ichie trigger fingers, so if they want to try that again, they better be prepared. FUCK THOSE ASSHOLES.
But, you see, that would start a war with Iran.....and it ain't quite time yet.
 

Nortonsmeatytit

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Sep 11, 2005
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#11
fucking sand wiggles came cunt hair close to being waxed. They try it again they'd be lucky to get 500 ft from one of our ships
 

Ego

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Feb 15, 2005
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#12
They need some of those cool looking remote-controlled boats like the ones that were on Futureweapons before. Load 'em up with OC spray (the gel would probably be better), and then when the camel jocks decide to press their luck and get too close, just let 'em have it. It won't kill them, but they'll hurt for a while and hopefully learn a lesson.
 

CougarHunter

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Mar 2, 2006
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#13
You are about to blow up.

They said it.

We should have made it happen to them first.
 

stillbornstew

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actually this is the tactic that we knew the iranians would use to confront our ships. back when i was on ship (2003-2005), we did constant "fast boy" GQ drills. there was an atricle in navy times the address the "what if" scenarios involving iran and it stated that the iranians would attack out ships w/ small, highly manuverable boats armed (most probably) w/ explosives or shoulder fired weaponry. i'm thinking it was just a dry run on irans part.
 

mendozathejew

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Mar 12, 2005
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actually this is the tactic that we knew the iranians would use to confront our ships. back when i was on ship (2003-2005), we did constant "fast boy" GQ drills. there was an atricle in navy times the address the "what if" scenarios involving iran and it stated that the iranians would attack out ships w/ small, highly manuverable boats armed (most probably) w/ explosives or shoulder fired weaponry. i'm thinking it was just a dry run on irans part.
interesting. are US ships better prepared for US Cole type attacks?
 

stillbornstew

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interesting. are US ships better prepared for US Cole type attacks?
if anything, they are more aware/proactive about approaching unidentified vessels. i'm assuming the ship knew they were close to iranian waters and we know that iran does shit like this in their vicinity (i.e. britian last summer). so i'm assuming they didn't fire b/c they knew the repricussions and didn't feel it was a credible threat. if anything they would have fired a warning shot just to let them know they were being targeted.
 

Budyzir

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#17
I've been out of the Navy for ten years now but, when we were operating close to shore or in congested waters we would add additional watch standers called the Special Sea and Anchor Detail to help in the safe navigation of the ship. I'm guessing that when Navy ships are transiting or operating in choke points like the Strait of Hormuz supplementary watch standers, like gunnery personnel, to ensure the safety of the ship.

Nuts, when I last checked Drudge there was a link to an article about one of the ships firing a warning shot, gone now.

All in all, as I read more about all this, the crews of those three ships are getting some serious respect from me tonight.

BZ!
 

THE FEZ MAN

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interesting. are US ships better prepared for US Cole type attacks?
i listen to the coast guard channel on my scanner all the time, every time a navel vessel enters the Delaware river they broad cast warnings about approaching US navel vessels, including that they will fire at any vessel approaching with in 100yards of the ship in an aggressive manner, now i doubt that there going to sink a pleasure boat in the Delaware river but you never know
 

Jerry1

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#19
if anything, they are more aware/proactive about approaching unidentified vessels. i'm assuming the ship knew they were close to iranian waters and we know that iran does shit like this in their vicinity (i.e. britian last summer). so i'm assuming they didn't fire b/c they knew the repricussions and didn't feel it was a credible threat. if anything they would have fired a warning shot just to let them know they were being targeted.
Clearly the CO of the ships was following the rules of engagement(fired if fired upon and so forth) in this case. If anyone may remember that back in 1988 the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airbus airliner mistaking it for one of Iran's remaining F-14 Tomcats(which Iran got under the Shah in the 70's). With the tensions between the US and Iran right now, there was no wish to repeat that mistake.
However, I bet if one of those boats came barreling in toward one of them then the US would have opened up on them and worry about the repurcussions later.
 

stillbornstew

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Clearly the CO of the ships was following the rules of engagement(fired if fired upon and so forth) in this case. If anyone may remember that back in 1988 the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airbus airliner mistaking it for one of Iran's remaining F-14 Tomcats(which Iran got under the Shah in the 70's). With the tensions between the US and Iran right now, there was no wish to repeat that mistake.
However, I bet if one of those boats came barreling in toward one of them then the US would have opened up on them and worry about the repurcussions later.
no doubt. i was on a communications ship and had the admiral for 7th fleet on board (7th fleet monitors asia [cough]north korea[/]), so we had limited offensive capabilites. but any cruiser/destroyer/amphib would have opened up the 50 cals quick like if needed. i think someone said there was a video of us firing a warning shot, which doesn't surprise me. no doubt the ship was in GQ status during the incident.
 

CougarHunter

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#21
I heard claxons going off in the video so if they weren't already in GQ, they were well on the way to it.
 

Hudson

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UPDATE


Prank May Have Sparked Gulf Showdown
AP
Posted: 2008-01-14 19:37:16
Filed Under: World News
CAIRO, Egypt (Jan. 14) - A threatening radio message at the end of a video showing Iranian patrol boats swarming near U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf may have come from a prankster rather than from the Iranian vessels, the Navy Times newspaper has reported A video and audio of the Jan. 6 incident in the Strait of Hormuz featured a man in accented English saying "I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes."

Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, said the Navy was still trying to determine the source of the transmission but believed it was related to the Iranian actions.

"The Iranian boats were coming close to the ships, making aggressive maneuvers and objects were being dropped into the water," she told The Associated Press.

However, the Navy Times, a weekly newspaper published by the Gannett company, quoted several veteran sailors as speculating the transmission could have come from a radio heckler, widely known among mariners by the ethnically insulting term "the Filipino Monkey."

The newspaper, which serves the Navy community, said U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf have heard the prankster - possibly more than one person - transmitting "insults and jabbering vile epithets" on unencrypted frequencies.

"Navy women - a helicopter pilot hailing a tanker, for example - who are overheard on the radio are said to suffer particularly degrading treatment," the newspaper said Sunday. "Several Navy ship drivers interviewed by Navy Times are raising the possibility that the Monkey, or an imitator, was indeed featured in that video."

Filipino Monkey is a name used by mariners around the globe for someone who uses his radio for unnecessary or inappropriate transmissions.

It also is sometimes used by the prankster himself. Two Navy officers said they have personally been aboard ships elsewhere in the world when all of a sudden they've heard someone from another vessel come on the radio and say, "Filipino Monkey, Filipino Monkey" over and over again in a singsong voice.
http://news.aol.com/story/_a/prank-...n/20080114182609990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001
 

VMS

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#23
I would have pumped those speedboats with 50 cal rounds coming out of the Phalynx automatic machine guns.(They are the big white domed tubes in every Aegis weapons system onboard all US Navy ships.)
Not to be Ned the Nitpicker, but I'm pretty sure the Phalanx system uses 20mm cannons, not .50 cal (ie- 12.7mm) machine guns.
:action-sm

Not as ballsy as the "Goalkeeper" system used by the Dutch , which uses the 30mm GAU-8/A cannon from the A-10 Warthog, but the Phalanx is supposedly much "smarter" than the Goalkeeper.