Central Command News

23 Dec 2019

US Box Ship Rescues Iranian Mariners


© Jesus Conzalez Alba / MarineTraffic.com

A U.S.-flagged merchant vessel Maersk Kinloss rescued three Iranian mariners who had been stranded at sea for several weeks.The Maersk company informed U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) of the December 18 rescue.The stranded mariners were transferred to the Omani coast guard, who are coordinating their return to Iran.

10 Nov 2019

Global Coalition Launches Operation Sentinel

Pic: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command

The US Central Command announced the opening of operations from its Bahrain headquarters to protect shipping in the troubled waters of the Gulf, after a string of attacks that Washington and its allies blamed on Iran.The new mission, dubbed Operation Sentinel, is designed to “ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters” throughout the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman, US Central Command said in a release“Today…

04 Nov 2019

ITOPF Addresses Brazil Oil Pollution

Pic: ITOPF

The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) is currently on-site in north-east Brazil attending the recent oil spill that has contaminated approximately 2,500 km of coastline in nine states.The source of the pollution remains unknown, although the Brazilian government has recently reported that they suspect a tanker passing along its coast in late July as being the polluter."Our involvement was requested directly by IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources…

24 Jul 2019

US: European Maritime Security would be 'Complementary'

File image: US Navy

The United States believes a proposed European initiative to bolster maritime security in the Gulf would complement ongoing U.S. efforts there instead of being a "stand-alone" operation, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.Washington in June first proposed some sort of multinational effort open to all allies and partners to bolster maritime security in the Gulf after accusing Iran of attacking oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical maritime chokepoint between Iran…

18 Jul 2019

US to Work "aggressively" for Free Gulf Passage

file image of US Navy assets underway (CREDIT: USN)

U.S. Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said on Thursday it was talking to other countries about freedom of navigation in the Gulf and would work "aggressively" to find a solution to enable free passage.The United States has beefed up its military presence in the Middle East over a perceived Iranian threat and is asking allies to help protect strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, following attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters in recent months."We are currently talking…

11 Jul 2019

Iran Attempts UK Tanker Block, Fails

Civilian Mariner Kevin Sauls, Ship's master aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), observes the Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) during a replenishment-at-sea drill. Guadalupe is conducting operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.A week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the Strait of Hormuz…

19 Jun 2019

U.S. Navy says Evidence Points to Iran in Gulf Tanker Attack

Photo Credit: US Navy

The United States Navy on Wednesday displayed limpet mine fragments and a magnet it said it had removed from one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman last week, saying the mines bore a striking resemblance to Iranian ones.The United States, waging a "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign against Iran to curb its nuclear and regional activities, has been trying to build an international consensus that Iran was behind last week's blasts, as well as a May 12 strike on four…

17 Jun 2019

US Releases New Images from Tanker Attacks

Unexploded Limpet Mine Removed from M/T Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman (Photo: NAVCENT)

The U.S. military on Monday released new images it says showed Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded limpet mine from a Japanese-owned tanker that was attacked on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman, as Washington blames Tehran for the attack."Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine," the U.S. military's Central Command said in a statement explaining the still-images.(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)

22 Mar 2019

USCG Commandant Delivers SOTCG Address

Adm. Karl Schultz delivers the annual SOTCG Address in San Pedro, CA (Image: CREDIT USCG)

The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his first State of the Coast Guard address Thursday at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro.Speaking from the largest port in the nation, Adm. Karl Schultz highlighted Coast Guard security and marine safety operations, which facilitate $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity.Schultz also recognized the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard men and women deployed around the world ensuring global peace and prosperity, including servicemembers supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.

21 Feb 2019

New Coast Guard Command Center in Maine

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary Hupp

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England officially opened a new 24-hour command center Wednesday in South Portland, Maine.Sen. Susan Collins, Atlantic Area Commander Vice Adm. Scott Buschman, and First District Commander Rear Adm. Andrew Tiongson were all on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The command center is the hub for all Coast Guard operations across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and parts of New York. Located at Coast Guard Base South Portland, the command center's exterior remained the same, but the interior is completely new.

22 Jan 2019

Tampa Bay’s Cross Bay Ferry a winner for HMS Ferries

The seasonal ferry underway (CREDIT: Cross Bay Ferry)

The Ferry’s second season this year presents permanent possibilities.The Cross Bay Ferry from Tampa’s Florida Aquarium dock to the dock at the North Yacht Basin in St. Petersburg, Florida is off to a rollicking start, with 3,000 more passengers in it’s debut month of November 2018 than its strongest month during the 2016/2017 test period, and with continued support from Tampa Bay area leadership.“We are very encouraged by the numbers we are seeing so far,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said.

07 Sep 2018

US Navy Seizes Thousands of AK-47s in the Gulf of Aden

A visit, board, search and seizure team from the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) inspects a skiff found to be carrying a shipment of over 1,000 illicit weapons. (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Bodenner)

More than 2,500 AK-47 automatic rifles were seized from a stateless skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden at the end of August.U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) discovered the illicit weapons shipment during counter-trafficking mission on August 28.The Navy said 2,521 guns were confiscated from the skiff, which was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with international law.

02 Aug 2018

Iran Naval Drills Underway Amid Tensions with U.S.

File Image: U.S. Navy warships underway and engaged in underway replenishment. CREDIT: U.S. Navy

The United States believes Iran has started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100 vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats. A second official expected the drill could be wrapped up this week.Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an international nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

05 Jul 2018

Reacting to Iranian Threat, U.S. Navy Says Will Protect Free Flow of Commerce

The U.S. Navy stands ready to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command said on Thursday, after Iran threatened to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if Washington bans its oil sales."The U.S. and its partners provide and promote security and stability in the region. Together, we stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows," Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in an email to Reuters. Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Editing by Alison Williams

02 Nov 2017

Glory Amsterdam Refloated from German Sandbar

A rescue team freed the grounded freighter "Glory Amsterdam" from a sandbar near the North Sea island of Langeoog and ruled out an oil leak, German authorities said on Thursday. Two large towing ships pulled the freighter to deep water and 16,000 tons of ballast water were pumped out of it, said Simone Starke, spokeswoman for Germany's Central Command for Maritime Emergencies. Environmental and fishery groups warned of dire consequences to the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage site, if the ship began leaking 1,800 tonnes of heavy oil and 140 tonnes of marine diesel on board but there was no damage to the hull, authorities said. "No leaking was found during the towing process. An oil monitoring plane will accompany the barges towards Wilhelmshaven," said Starke.

01 Nov 2017

Bulker May Remain Stuck on German Sandbar until Friday

Panama flagged bulk carrier Glory Amsterdam sits aground off the coast of Langeoog island in northern Germany. (Photo: Havariekommando)

It may take until Friday to free the grounded freighter "Glory Amsterdam" from a sand bar near the North Sea island of Langeoog, German authorities said on Wednesday, but no holes or cracks are evident in the ship's hull to trigger an oil leak. Shallow waters off the island had forced officials to revise initial plans to dislodge the 225-metre (742-foot) freighter, which ran aground during a storm that killed at least six people in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Environmental and fishery groups have warned of dire environmental consequences to the Wadden Sea…

25 Oct 2017

Coalition Forces Render Aid to an Iranian Fishing Vessel

Official U.S. Navy file photo.

In coordination with the European Union Naval Force and the Turkish-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, which is a part of the Combined Maritime Forces, the U.S. Navy provided assistance to an Iranian fishing vessel after a reported piracy attack Oct. 24, south of Socotra, Yemen. The Iranian coast guard called U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) to report the incident and seek assistance for the fishing vessel. NAVCENT coordinated with the European Union Naval Force, who sent a patrol aircraft to investigate the incident. The U.S.

11 Sep 2017

US Denies Iran Report of Confrontation with US Vessel

An Iranian military vessel confronted an American warship in the Gulf and warned it to stay away from a damaged Iranian fishing boat, Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday, but the U.S. Navy denied any direct contact with Iranian forces. The American vessel turned away after the warning from the Iranian ship, which belonged to the naval branch of the Iranian army, according to Tasnim. The Iranian military vessel then towed the fishing boat, which had sent out a distress signal after taking on water, back to shore. The agency did not specify when the incident, close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, took place. In statement, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said the coastal patrol USS Tempest, operating in the Gulf of Oman on Sept.

16 Aug 2017

US to Commission USS Lewis B. Puller

Photo: United States Navy

The Navy will commission the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) during a 5 p.m. AST ceremony Thursday, August 17, at Khalifa bin Salman Port in Al Hidd, Bahrain. The future Lewis B. Puller - currently USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3 )- is the second ship to bear the name of Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, a distinguished combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Puller is the only Marine to have been awarded the Navy Cross on five separate occasions and is the most decorated individual in the history of the USMC. The first Lewis B.

15 Aug 2017

Iran: Drones Near U.S. Warships are Safe

Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) rejected U.S. criticism that it flew a drone unsafely near a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf and it defended its right to carry out air patrol missions in the area. On Monday the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said that an Iranian drone had come within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of a U.S. aircraft carrier while it was in international waters in the Gulf conducting flight operations. Spokesman Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey said the Iranian drone "conducted an unsafe and unprofessional approach" as it passed by the USS Nimitz without navigation lights late on Sunday. Iran's IRGC…

25 Jul 2017

US Navy Ship Fires Warning Shots near Iranian Vessel

A U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots when an Iranian vessel in the Gulf came within 150 yards (137 meters) on Tuesday in the first such incident since President Donald Trump took office in January, U.S. officials said. The last major incident was earlier in January, though there have been instances when a U.S. vessel fired a flare as well as an event in March when a U.S. Navy ship was forced to change course after multiple fast-attack vessels from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard came too close. In a statement, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said the patrol craft, named Thunderbolt, fired the warning shots in front of the Iranian vessel after it ignored radio calls, flares and the ship's whistle.

15 Jun 2017

CTF 150 Makes Record Number of Drug Busts

Photo: United States Navy

In a four-month span, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces has proven itself a formidable force against narcotics trafficking, with 10 drug seizures totaling over 3,300 kilograms of heroin, cocaine, cannabis resin and hashish since March. It started with the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) on March 2, when the crew seized 800 kilograms of hashish, a drug made from cannabis. Eleven days later on March 13, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) seized 270 kilograms of heroin and then again on March 17…

06 Jun 2017

UK, France, US Sign Trilateral Submarine Agreement

Vice Adm. Louis-Michel Guillaume, left, commander of French Submarine and Strategic Oceanic Forces, Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, middle, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and Rear Adm. Robert K. Tarrant, commander Operations of the Royal Navy, sign an agreement to increase coordination for anti-submarine warfare activities between France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.  Photo: United States Navy

Naval leaders from the United Kingdom, France and the United States signed an agreement June 1, designed to increase coordination for anti-submarine warfare activities of the three countries as they operate in the 5th Fleet area of operations. Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan signed the trilateral agreement with Vice Adm. Louis-Michel Guillaume, commander, French Submarine and Strategic Oceanic Forces (ALFOST) and Rear Adm. Robert K. Tarrant, commander, Operations of the Royal Navy, at Donegan's headquarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News