Photo: US Navy
The global signs of a coming military conflict with Iran continue to build, and today the U.S. Navy made clear its intentions by announcing it’s sending four additional mine countermeasure ships to the Strait of Hormuz.Stars and Stripes reports the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he’s sending the mine ships in addition to four airborne mine countermeasure helicopters.
Iran has already warned that one of its first steps in closing the Strait of Hormuz, and choking off 40 per cent of the world’s oil supply, will be to mine the strait and deploy its fleet of small electronic submarines.
Greenert was recently aboard the USS John C. Stennis when it was tailed through the strait by the Iranians and came away from that ride thinking “[W]e could do better setting the theatre. I wanted to be sure … that we are ready…”
To get “ready” Greenert is also bringing upgrades to mine neutralization vehicles, submarine torpedoes, optics, and weapons to counter the swarm maneuvers employed by the Iranian navy.
This move will double the number of minesweepers in the Persian Gulf, but Greenert declined to call the deployments a surge, as when forces are built up for a planned operation, instead telling reporters: “I’m not going to define it as a surge. You called it a deployment, how’s that”
The four ships, the Sentry, Devastator, Pioneer, and Warrior will join the Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain from San Diego. Their departure date has not yet been announced, as part of operational security.
They will likely be transported by the Navy’s heavy-lift ships which travel at about 16 mph.
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