Arabian Gulf. (July 5, 2023):The Iranian Navy tried a little bullying this week, only to flee at the sight of the USS McFaul, a guided missile destroyer patrolling international waters near the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is a narrow waterway between the Persian Gulf and Oman through which flows a third of the world's liquefied natural gas and almost 25% of total global oil consumption. It is one of the most important commercial choke points in the world.
In this photo by MC2 Juel Foster, Lt. Samuel Gilbert monitors maritime activity for the USS McFaul which is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure security and stability in the Middle East. (Note: This image has been altered by digitally obscuring the displays for security reasons.)
The first incident occurred around 1 a.m. when an Iranian navy vessel approached a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker and were attempting to board and seize the tanker when the USS McFaul appeared on scene. The Iranian ship immediately changed course and left the area. Three hours later, another Iranian navy vessel approached the tanker Richmond Voyager that had sailed from the United Arab Emirates through the Strait. The tanker issued a distress call after the Iranian ship allegedly tried to get it to stop.
This time, the Iranians fired on the innocent commercial vessel, striking the crew quarters with small arms fire. Again, when the USS McFaul arrived, the Iranians fled after only causing minor damage. Thankfully, no one was injured in either of these incidents.
In an article by Courtney Kube of CNBC, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said “I could not be prouder of the entire [U.S. Naval Forces Central Command] team, especially the exceptional effort by the McFaul crew, for immediately responding and preventing another seizure.
Support Our Troops adds its congratulations for a job well done.