Pentagon sends more troops to protect shipping from Iranian threats Ship’s crew

The US Department of Defense has announced plans to deploy even more military forces under US Central Command (Centcom) jurisdictions in response to Iran’s attacks and seizures of merchant ships in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

Centcom said Thursday the Secretary of Defense has ordered an Amphibious Readiness Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) to be deployed to the region. This comes on top of Monday’s announcement that the US Navy destroyer, USS Thomas HudnerAlong with other fighter jets, including F-35s and F-16s, they would be sent to the Strait of Hormuz.

The troop deployment comes after Iran has attacked, seized or attempted to seize nearly 20 international-flagged vessels in the region since 2021.

ARG/MEUs provide forward-facing sea-based expeditionary forces that can be deployed in a variety of military operations. Centcom’s announcement states that the ARG/MEU will provide “additional air and sea resources and US Marines, providing even greater flexibility and maritime capability” in the region.

“US Central Command is committed to defending the freedom of navigation in our area of ​​responsibility, which encompasses some of the world’s most important waterways,” said Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of US Central Command. “These additional forces provide unique capabilities that, together with our partner nations in the region, will further protect the free flow of international trade, uphold the rules-based international order, and deter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.”

Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy attempted to illegally hijack two ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, according to Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.

One of the ships, the Marshall Islands flagged oil tanker trf moss, was struck by an Iranian Navy ship on July 5, but the Iranian ship left the country after the arrival of the US Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS McFaul. The Bahamian-flagged oil tanker arrived the same day Richmond VoyagerThe ship, chartered by US oil giant Chevron, was struck and fired upon by an Iranian naval vessel after Iran accused it of being involved in a collision with an Iranian boat. The Iranian ship left the country when the USS McFaul arrived. Chevron denied the allegation.

The Defense Ministry said in May it would step up patrols in the Strait of Hormuz and work with regional allies and partners to strengthen its defense position in the Arabian Gulf. The U.S. 5th Fleet has also worked to enhance international maritime security cooperation in the region.

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