An Iranian frigate pointed a mounted weapon at a U.S. Navy helicopter and a coalition auxiliary ship in the Gulf of Aden two weeks ago, a Navy official has confirmed.
The frigate came alongside the auxiliary ship during an interoperability exercise July 25, in which an MH-60R Sea Hawk
from the destroyer Farragut was flying nearby, and Iranian crewmembers aimed a crew-served machine gun at
them, 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Kevin Stephens told Navy Times on Wednesday.
“U.S. and coalition personnel are trained to avoid contributing to opportunities for miscalculation, and did not respond to
the threatening behavior, avoiding escalation of the situation, which concluded with the Iranian frigate departing the
scene,” Stephens said.
Crew members aboard the Farragut observed the “unsafe and unprofessional” interaction, he added, noting that crew
members aboard the Iranian ship were filming the weapon at the time.
The incident was first reported by CNN.
“U.S. Navy forces are routinely approached by Iranian warships as they operate in the region, with the majority of all
interaction by the Iranians conducted in a safe and professional manner,” Stephens said.
The Farragut has been operating in the Persian Gulf throughout the summer as part of a regular deployment with the
Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, which left Norfolk, Virginia, in March.