MANAMA, Bahrain - Three vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) interacted in an unsafe and unprofessional manner as U.S. Navy ships transited the Strait of Hormuz, June 20.
Patrol coastal ship USS Sirocco (PC 6) and expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF 2) were conducting a routine transit in international waters when three Iranian fast inshore attack craft approached.
One of the IRGCN vessels approached Sirocco head-on at a dangerously high speed and only altered course after the U.S. patrol coastal ship issued audible warning signals to avoid collision. The Iranian vessel also came within 50 yards of the U.S. Navy ship during the interaction, and Sirocco responded by deploying a warning flare.
The full interaction among all vessels lasted one hour and ended when the IRGCN craft departed the area. U.S. Navy ships continued their transit without further incident.
The IRGCN’s actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision.
U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting regional maritime security.