US Concludes Escort Mission in Strait of Hormuz

With no further incidents following actions by Iran that led to Navy ships accompanying U.S.- and British-flagged commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz since May 1, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command ceased the mission, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said.

The Navy ships accompanied the U.S. and British ships following two incidents less than a week apart late last month when Iranian navy patrol vessels harassed commercial ships in the strait.

While the Navy ships remain in the strait, crews are providing maritime security operations, Warren said, adding that the adjustment is relatively minor.

On April 24, four Iranian navy patrol boats approached the U.S.-flagged merchant ship Maersk Kensington, Warren said in an April 29 briefing.

The boats came astern of the Kensington and followed her for 15 or 20 minutes in actions that the Kensington’s master interpreted as aggressive.

There was no U.S. military involvement at the time, he said.

Then on April 28, Iranian patrol vessels approached the M/V Maersk Tigris, a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel in Iranian territorial waters that have internationally recognized commercial shipping lanes, officials said. The Tigris remains at anchor off the coast of Iran near Larak Island.

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Image: US Navy