Archive for the ‘boats’ Category

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen Gives First Press Conference

January 11, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 11, 2008

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen gave a press conference in the Pentagon on Friday morning during which he discussed the stresses on the U.S. military due to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as operations in the Persian Gulf and the situation in Pakistan.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen speaks ...
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen speaks during a press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. The recent confrontation between Iranian and U.S. navy forces in the Persian Gulf reflects a shift in military strategy by Tehran to use its Revolutionary Guard’s fast boats in a more aggressive manner in the region, Mullen said.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Asked about Iran’s provocative use of small boats near USS Hopper, USS Port Royal and USS Ingraham on Sunday, Admiral Mullen said, “The incident ought to remind us all just how real is the threat posed by Iran and just how ready we are to meet that threat if it comes to it.”

Regarding the Iranian strategy in the Persian Gulf, Admiral Mullen told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has been focused “for several years” on Iran’s shift to greater reliance on small, fast boats by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has taken over patrols in the Gulf from Tehran’s regular navy.

“It’s clearly strategically where the Iranian military has gone,” said Mullen, in his first solo Pentagon press briefing. “There’s a projection they were going to do that over a number of years … That was a big concern to me because of the history and the background with the IRGC (Revolutionary Guard.) This fit that mold, as far as I was concerned.”

In Tampa, Florida, Commander of the Central Command Adm. William J. Fallon
said to an Associated Press reporter, “This kind of behavior, if it happens in the future, is the kind of event that could precipitate a mistake. If the boats come closer, at what point does the captain think it is a direct threat to the ship and has to do something to stop it?”

On rumors that the U.S. is considering putting troops into the tribal areas of Pakistan and President Musharraf’s objection, Admiral Mullen said, “Use of troops in Pakistan is clearly a decision that has to be made by the government of Pakistan.”


US Protests Iran’s Harassment of US Ships

January 10, 2008
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The United States on Thursday lodged a formal diplomatic protest with Iran over an incident last weekend in which Iranian speedboats harassed U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

This image released by the US Navy Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, and ...
This image released by the US Navy Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, and shot Sunday, Jan. 6 from the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, shows 2 small boats, alleged to be Iranian, purportedly racing near the wake of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. The incident, which President George W. Bush denounced Tuesday as a ‘provocative act,’ was videotaped by a crew member on the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, one of the three ships that faced down five Iranian boats in a flare-up early Sunday.
(AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

The protest repeats U.S. complaints about Sunday’s “provocative” action in the Strait of Hormuz and was sent to the Iranian Foreign Ministry via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, the State Department said.

“It reiterates the points that we have made publicly in the last few days,” deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters. “We certainly don’t want to see the Iranians taking any kind of provocative actions or provocative steps against our ships or against any ships that are transiting what is a primary international waterway.”

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Secretary of Defense Gates Reacts to Iran’s “Provocation”

January 8, 2008

From Deutsche Welle

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates has said that Iran acted recklessly when five Iranian speed boats swarmed three US warships and threatened to blow them up in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday. The Iranians dropped boxes in the path of one vessel but retreated just before a naval commander on one of the US warships was about to issue an order to fire. The Iranian government has dismissed the encounter, saying it was “something normal”. Gates said the strait was a volatile area and the chance of a military incident was escalating. Almost a quarter of the world’s crude oil passes through the strait.

In San Diego, Secreatary Gates was interviewed by the Union-Tribune.

“The risk of an incident or an incident escalating is real,” he said, describing the Tehran regime as very unpredictable. “I can’t imagine what was on their minds.”

Five Revolutionary Guard speedboats repeatedly charged toward a Navy cruiser, destroyer and frigate in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, dropping boxes in front of the U.S. ships and reportedly transmitting a radio message in which they threatened to blow up the Americans.

The three Navy ships were about to open fire when the five Iranian speedboats veered off at the last moment and raced away.

The Revolutionary Guards are a parallel military force within Iran, formed after the Islamic revolution there in 1979. They have their own ground, naval and air units, and are suspected by Washington of providing active support to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry later characterized the incident as a case of mistaken identity, saying the speedboat crews turned away once they recognized the warships as American.

“It would be nice to see the Iranian government disavow this action and say it won’t happen again,” the secretary said.