An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 sits on the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on March 7, 2018. US Navy Photo
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2018. This story is part of a series; please also see U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Operations.
The Marine Corps spent 2018 preparing the force for a new era of warfare, modernizing how it conducts its business in ways large and small. Read More
Country music artist Kellie Pickler and a U.S. Sailor perform a song together during a USO tour performance in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the Persian Gulf on Dec. 23, 2018.
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is spending Christmas in the Persian Gulf and will be joined by America’s highest-ranking officer, an Olympic gold medalist, a country singer and Wilmar Valderrama, among others participating in a USO tour.
Iranian-built Shahed 129.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – U.S. warships operating in the Persian Gulf are now regularly overflown by Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles, adding a new wrinkle to operations in the region, Navy and Marine commanders said on Tuesday.
Lt. Cmdr. Luis Alvarez, navigator aboard Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) on Oct. 11, 2018. US Navy Photo
Amphibious warship USS Essex (LHD-2) is now in the Persian Gulf, bringing for the first time a squadron of Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters through the Strait of Hormuz.
Undated photo of IRGCN fast attack boat.
THE PENTAGON — U.S. officials confirmed they were monitoring Iranian naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, but had little to say about the activity involving up to 100 vessels and intended to showcase the nation’s desire to be the regional maritime security power.
USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) on June 13, 2018. US Navy Photo
THE PENTAGON – Amphibious warship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) crossed into the Persian Gulf this week, returning a U.S. Navy capital ship to the region for the first time since late March, USNI News has learned. Read More
Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo
This post has been updated with an additional statement from U.S. 5th Fleet.
An Iranian admiral now says the country’s slow-down in sending small patrol boats to harass U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf was spurred by what he describes as a change in U.S. behavior but doesn’t address the uptick in Iran’s drone flights in the region. Read More
An undated picture of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol craft.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Iranian drones have become increasingly active in the Persian Gulf and other critical waterways around the Middle East, regularly conducting surveillance flights close to U.S. warships crossing the Strait of Hormuz and operating around the region, a defense official told USNI News on Friday. Read More
An MH-60R Sea Hawk approaches USS Higgins (DDG-76) during a vertical replenishment on Jan. 13, 2018. US Navy Photo
Navy officials are pushing back against claims that a U.S. destroyer was chased away from an Iranian military combined exercise in the Gulf of Oman by naval forces. Read More
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Ayana Knox records aircraft movements on the ‘Ouija Board,’ a scale model of the flight deck, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on Nov. 28, 2017. Theodore Roosevelt and its carrier strike group are deployed to the Persian Gulf. US Navy Photo
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG-9) is now in the Persian Gulf, where it is expected to join the ongoing Operation Inherent Resolve fight against ISIS forces.