Tag Archives: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command

Marines Prepared to Use F-35Bs in Middle East Combat If Needed; No Other Naval Aviation Nearby

Marines Prepared to Use F-35Bs in Middle East Combat If Needed; No Other Naval Aviation Nearby

F-35B Lightning II, attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, sit on the flight deck of Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on Sept. 4, 2018, while transiting the Indian Ocean with San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during a regularly scheduled deployment of Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The Essex ARG and 13th MEU is the first U.S. Navy/Marine Corps team to deploy to U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations with the F-35B Lightning II. US Navy photo.

The Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters are the only ship-based fixed-wing aircraft in the Middle East right now, and service leaders say the new jets are ready to handle any fight in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan they may be tasked with. Read More

Air Operations in Djibouti Halted, Amphibious Exercise Canceled After 2 Marine Aviation Crashes on April 3

Air Operations in Djibouti Halted, Amphibious Exercise Canceled After 2 Marine Aviation Crashes on April 3

A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced), lands aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) in Mediterranean Sea during exercise Juniper Cobra 2018. US Marine Corps photo.

This post has been updated to include additional information from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

All U.S. military air operations in Djibouti are on hold and an exercise taking place in and around Djibouti has been canceled following two aviation mishaps on Tuesday. Read More

UPDATED: Iran Says Speedboat Harassment Down Because U.S. Behavior Change

UPDATED: Iran Says Speedboat Harassment Down Because U.S. Behavior Change

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

Iranian Drone Missions on the Rise in the Persian Gulf as Small Boat Harassment Drops

Iranian Drone Missions on the Rise in the Persian Gulf as Small Boat Harassment Drops

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

Navy, Marines Ponder Alternative Platforms' Role as First ESB Now Operating in 5th Fleet

Navy, Marines Ponder Alternative Platforms’ Role as First ESB Now Operating in 5th Fleet

AH-1 Cobra and UH-1 Huey helicopters assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 (Reinforced) land on the flight deck of the expeditionary mobile base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) in support of Alligator Dagger 2017. Alligator Dagger is a dedicated, unilateral combat rehearsal led by Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Combined Navy and Marine Corps units of the America Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Units are to practice, rehearse and exercise integrated capabilities that are available to U.S. Central Command, both afloat and ashore. US Navy photo.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy and Marine Corps are committed to using alternative platforms to move Marines around at sea, but there are still decisions yet to be made about how to maximize these ships’ effectiveness and minimize risk while operating independently or as part of a strike group. Read More

USS Ponce Returns From Final Deployment Ahead of Decommissioning

USS Ponce Returns From Final Deployment Ahead of Decommissioning

Sailors and civilian contractors assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1 aboard a rigid-hull inflatable boat carrying underwater unmanned vehicles are craned onto the ship during mine countermeasure training operations aboard the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) in 2015. US Navy Photo

The converted amphibious warship that served as an experimental platform for special operations forces, minehunting helicopters and the Navy’s first operational laser weapon is back in the U.S. after more than five years operating in the Middle East. Read More

Navy to Commission Middle East-based Expeditionary Sea Base Lewis B. Puller as a Warship

Navy to Commission Middle East-based Expeditionary Sea Base Lewis B. Puller as a Warship

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3) departs Naval Station Norfolk to begin its first operational deployment on July 10, 2017. Puller is deploying to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. Navy and allied military efforts in the region. US Navy photo.

The Navy will re-designate its first Expeditionary Landing Base ship a warship this week, converting the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) into USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) so it can better meet operational needs abroad, USNI News has learned. Read More

Officer Punished for 2016 Farsi Island Incident Allowed to Stay in Navy

Officer Punished for 2016 Farsi Island Incident Allowed to Stay in Navy

Riverine Command Boat (RCB) 802’s boat captain, Lt. David Nartker, assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.7, checks his boat’s communications system operating in the Persian Gulf in 2015. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include a staetment from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

The officer in charge of 10 U.S. Navy sailors captured by Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf last year will be allowed to stay in the service, his attorney said. Read More

ONI Report: Iran Developing Sub Launched Missiles to Combat Ships in Strait of Hormuz

ONI Report: Iran Developing Sub Launched Missiles to Combat Ships in Strait of Hormuz

An Iranian built mockup of a US Nimitz-class carrier is destroyed during the IRGCN Noble Prophet exercise. ONI Photo

Iran is developing a submarine that could launch an anti-ship cruise missile designed to quickly sink an American warship operating in the Strait of Hormuz, according to a new assessment of Iranian naval capabilities published Wednesday by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence. Read More