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Russian Frigate Again Harasses U.S. Carrier Strike Group During Flight Operations

Russian Frigate Yaroslav Mudry (FF-777) before teh ship's hull number was changed. RIA Novosti Photo

Russian Frigate Yaroslav Mudry (FF-777) before the ship’s hull number was changed. RIA Novosti Photo

THE PENTAGON — A Russian frigate again came dangerously close to U.S. ships tasked with striking ISIS targets in Syria from the Eastern Mediterranean – coming within 150 yards of the Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group while the carrier was conducting flight operations on Thursday, USNI News has learned.

According to an early incident report obtained by USNI News, the Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudry (FF-777) made several erratic movements and inconsistent radio transmissions to the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56) about 6:00 A.M. EST on Thursday.

“The actions of FF-777 were abnormal as they displayed maneuvers rarely seen by professional mariners at sea combined with an aggressive approach toward [San Jacinto],” read the assessment.

A Navy official contacted by USNI News confirmed a Russian frigate the interaction was, “unsafe and unprofessional.”

The report accused 4,400-ton Mudry of coming within 150 yards of the cruiser and quickly turning away in a manner described as “highly unprofessional” and as a “high-risk maneuver,” according to the report.

According to the incident report, Mudry also erratically weaved behind the cruiser’s wake instructing San Jacinto via radio to, “not cross my bow.”

160614-N-EO381-054 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (June 14, 2016) An MH-60R Seah Hawk helicopter assigned to the Dusty Dogs of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 flies from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), left, and the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) during a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8). The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins/Released)

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), left, and the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56) during a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8). US Navy Photo

The series of “multiple erratic maneuvers” – all while USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) was launching and recovering aircraft – was characterized as “abnormal safe and unprofessional,” in the report.

Mudry was the same Russian frigate that on June 17 had a similar standoff with guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107) with the Harry S. Turman CSG and came within 300 yards of the ship after maneuvering in a fashion U.S. officials considered unsafe.

The crew of Gravely and the carrier determined the Russian frigate, “was intentionally trying to interfere with Harry S. Truman operations,” a U.S. official told USNI News this week.
“We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian ship maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident which results in serious injury or death.”

Russian officials released a video earlier this week from Mudry which they accuse Gravely of acting unsafely.

 

  • Duke

    Ruskie ships change hull numbers when they change fleet assignments. It looks like you can change the hull number, but the stupid stays the same.

    • gro

      Reminds me back in my snow plowing days I suggested painting half the
      truck red and half blue then have them drive around the parking lot
      where I would have the customer ‘count’ all the trucks I had on the
      job…

      Not really but not a bad idea for someone so inclined…..<: <:

  • Michael Thornton

    And now for a response from the State Department:

    (crickets)

  • Maybe “Steamboat Kerry “will throw his medals at her. Oh that right he has none he threw them at the White House way back when. MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

    • dotlane

      Yawn.

      • Well dotlane i guess you were not there and if you were maybe you would understand.

    • Bearcat

      Come on, Ken… we all know the medals he actually threw over the fence were some pawn-shop cheapies! He wouldn’t throw his OWN medals away like that! He produced his own medals years later for TV glory.
      But yeah– maybe we could send either “Big Effing Deal” Biden or Swiftboat Kerry, who by the way, served in Vietnam, out there. That’s send the Russians running. Talk about unsafe…!!

      • Great, well Bearcat a happy and healthy 4th of July. Maybe sense will prevail in November.

  • IHO007

    Looks like the russkie just keeps asking for it…

    • Jim Ryan

      Asking for what???

      • incredulous1

        That’s exactly the right question. What indeed, do they hope to gain / achieve by these bizarre incidents? They don’t really think we will just up and leave do they? Perhaps they are hoping we will miscalculate and give them leverage elsewhere. I can see that they are getting frustrated though as this doesn’t work. Last time was 300 yds, now 150 yds, is 75 yds next. Good news is, as we learned from math class, the if you half the distance each time, you never quiet get there.

      • IHO007

        To get the trouble they’re looking for.

  • sferrin

    So Russia is helping defeat ISIS by interfering with US efforts to attack ISIS right?

    • tpharwell

      No, we are helping to defeat the enemies of Russia and Iran in Syria and Iraq, while they work on our friends. That is assuming we have any left. There is no limit to the ironies of our military and diplomatic posture in the Middle East, except the fact that in the theatre of the absurd, there is no such thing as irony.

  • RileyK10

    Hello Russia, the 80’s are calling and they’d like their frigate back.

  • Hugh

    In “contests” such as the Americas Cup, one vessel will cut off the other in an attempt to get that other to break away under the rules to give way. But – escorts for an aircraft carrier, particularly during flight operations, should have the over-riding right of way.

  • John B. Morgen

    We should warn the Russians three times to stay away, if not the Russian vessel will be ram. Our navy will [not] be accepting any liability to any losses or damages that the Russians might suffered for their failure of adhering to rights of navigation. We must [NOT] back down.

    • Bearcat

      With the likes of the Oblammos and the Clintons, surely the USN could arrange a ‘Vince Foster’ event– where the Russian ship suddenly and inexplicably explodes and sinks… and nobody saw nuthin’… and investigations will last forever…

      • John B. Morgen

        Just don’t torpedoed it.

  • Bearcat

    Classic Russian tactic– do crazy unsafe stuff and then blame the other guys of doing crazy unsafe stuff.
    Where’s my shoe?? I need to bang a shoe on this desk! Quick! Gimme your shoe!!

    • tpharwell

      B/c: Russians are not stupid, or at least, on average no more so than anyone else, as we reflect on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. They have a chain of command. And one should assume that up and down that chain, both the point and the pointlessness of their own behavior is understood and appreciated, along with the degree of professionalism found in it by others. Therefore, one must needs ask, why do they do these things ? What if any message do they send ? As they get more frequent and more deplorable, what do they learn from them ? Indeed, what do we learn from them, and they learn from what we appear to learn or not learn ? What responses are they testing for. And lastly, what does this tell them about the conditions in which they operate ?

      The US Navy has recently made a change in the way it does business in the Middle East. It is conducting bombing missions over Syria and Iraq from the Mediterranean Sea in preference to the Persian Gulf. There would appear to be good reason for this, if you ask me. There is now Russian interference with those operations. That is the point observed by Navy. As those operations shift in intensity and/or focus, query, what will happen to that interference ? The fact that we do not know makes the point that Russia is displaying tactical and therefore strategic room to manuuver so far as its objectives in the Middle East are concerned. And as we respond with criticisms of their unprofessional behavior, and otherwise try to go about our business, what does this say of Navy’s rules, and our national disposition to be flexible or determined, so far as such matters are concerned ??

      A larger question is begged. What is our purpose in Iraq and Syria – and indeed, NATO, seeing that Turkey is up to its neck in the problems we have had a hand in making there. And how committed are our leaders, if we have any, to achieving those purposes. How bad do we want them ?

  • Andre

    What if an ADCAP just slipped accidentally into the water and went after FF-777? Accidents happen, no?

  • I wonder why there is no a video or even photo of this incident? I strongly believe that all sailors abroad the mentioned ships have smartphones if not cameras.

    Last sentence in this article: “Russian officials released a video earlier this week from Mudry which they accuse Gravely of acting unsafely.” – Why this video is not offered by the author? At least link if not here…