The USS Firebolt fired a warning shot at three Iranian fast attack boats after they came within 68 yards of it and the USCGC Baranoff, a US Coast Guard patrol boat. It was the first time in almost 4 years that warning shots were fired.
The incident occurred in the North Arabian Gulf during the night of April 26, 2021.
The U.S. crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the (Guard) vessels continued their close range maneuvers,” said Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the Mideast-based 5th Fleet. “The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the (Guard) vessels moved away to a safe distance from the U.S. vessels……U.S. naval forces continue to remain vigilant and are trained to act in a professional manner, while our commanding officers retain the inherent right to act in self-defense
Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the Mideast-based 5th Fleet. (Stripes)
The Navy released black and white footage of the encounter that occurred in international waters off the Northern Arabian Gulf.
Firebolt is assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force (TF) 55 and Baranof is assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the largest U.S. Coast Guard unit outside the United States, and operates under TF 55.
Three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) approach the patrol coastal ship USS Firebolt (PC 10), while the U.S. vessel was conducting routine maritime security patrols in the international waters of the North Arabian Gulf, April 26.
The flash in the video is the fired tracer round.
The US Navy called on the IRGC to “operate with due regard for the safety of all vessels as required by international law.” While 68 yards seems like a long distance, with large ships, it can cause collisions due to the inability to turn quickly enough to avoid a vessel. They don’t “turn on a dime.”
The incident Monday marked the second time the Navy accused the Guard of operating in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner this month alone after tense encounters between the forces had dropped in recent years.
Footage released Tuesday by the Navy showed a ship commanded by the Guard cut in front of the USCGC Monomoy, causing the Coast Guard vessel to come to an abrupt stop with its engine smoking on April 2.
The Guard also did the same with another Coast Guard vessel, the USCGC Wrangell, Rebarich said…
…The incidents at sea almost always involve the Revolutionary Guard, which reports only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Typically, they involve Iranian speedboats armed with deck-mounted machine guns and rocket launchers test-firing weapons or shadowing American aircraft carriers passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all oil passes.
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