The United States Navy has ships stationed throughout the world ready to take action at a moment’s notice. However, these giant ships sitting in the water can become targets for enemy vessels.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in the Persian Gulf, two U.S. Coast Guard ships had a run-in with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats at the beginning of April. This is the first time something like this has happened this year.
Iran and the U.S. have just begun to negotiate terms to renew the 2015 multilateral nuclear accord in Vienna. According to Navy officials, three fast-attack crafts and a Harth 55 overtook two Coast Guard ships patrolling near the Persian Gulf’s southern end.
The Harth, a 180-foot twin-hulled ship, continually cruised in front of the two Coast Guard ships. The Coast Guard ship, Wrangell, even had to take defensive maneuvers in order to not collide with the Harth vessel.
The Iranian ships came within 70 yards of the U.S. ships. The Coast Guard warned the ships multiple times to stay away. However, the Iranian ships ignored the warnings and continued to harass the U.S. ships for three hours.
The Coast Guard ships were performing routine patrols in the area.
Not The First Time
U.S. ships have had to deal with this type of harassment before. Last April, there were 11 IRGC vessels who “repeatedly conducted dangerous and harassing approaches.” Two of the ships harassed were the same two that were being bothered this April.
In the 2020 incident, the ships were working on air integration exercises in conjunction with the U.S. Army. Vice Adm. James Malloy says that he is concerned that the IRGC will continue with this behavior. He also expressed concerns for the underlying motive for their actions.
“Sometimes their activities that are provocative in nature are just bad seamanship, and it still poses a threat to our force because it’s bad seamanship.”Vice. Admiral James Malloy
In the 2020 incident, the Navy chose to fire some warning shots at the Iranian ships. Per Navy regulations, it is perfectly within commanders’ rights to take measures to protect U.S. ships from others.
If ships approach Navy vessels at a distance of 100 meters, they can take “lawful defensive measures.”
As the IRGC ships continue to terrorize Coast Guard and Navy ships, the Navy will continue to take defensive measures.