By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer
Apparently, US Naval forces have already boarded a vessel suspected of carrying arms to Yemen in the Red Sea. On April 1, according to the Wall Street Journal, a search of the Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel Saisaban by a boarding party of the guided missile destroyer USNS Sterett (DDG 104) on April 1 did not find evidence of an arms shipment. This is the first boarding operation conducted in the area to intercept strategic arms bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen according to US military officials.
Read the original WSJ story here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-wants-to-block-iran-from-arming-yemens-houthi-rebels-1428868461
The USNS Sterett is a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. Details are available at: www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg104
Details of the Panamanian freighter Saisaban are available at : http://www.uskowioniran.com/2015/04/uss-sterett-boards-cargo-ship-searching.html
The Navy is currently expanding operations around Yemeni waters in the Arabian Sea. There is no word as yet if Iranian vessels under Iranian naval escort will be boarded by elements of the US Navy.
Meanwhile, in another incident not widely disclosed, an unarmed Iranian observation Y-12 aircraft made two separate passes at and approached within 50 yards of an armed US Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter that was flying from the deck of the USNS Carl Vinson (CVN -70, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier) on a routine patrol in international airspace in the Persian Gulf.
This incident aroused aeronautical safety as well as command and control concerns. US Navy officials indicated that this aggressive, deviant, unsafe and rather unprofessional maneuver may have been ordered by a local Iranian commander, according to an April 1, 2015 CNN report. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/politics/iran-aircraft-buzzes-navy-helicopter-persian-gulf/index.html
Details of the USS Carl Vinson are available at: www.navy.mil/local/cvn70