The long-term military buildup in the region surrounding Iran has been going on for quite some time now, as I have been documenting in my “Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio” series as well as many other articles, and it is only intensifying.
Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Navy’s senior officer, revealed that the massive surge of aircraft carriers and their accompanying support vessels was just the beginning of a much larger effort.
The new surge will expand the power the American Navy has in the region quite a bit, and some of the new cutting edge technology makes even the so-called commando mothership seem tame.
For starters, the United States Navy will be doubling the minesweeping vessels stationed out of Bahrain in the coming months from the current four to eight.
This is likely a response to Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is one of the world’s most critical waterways due to the immense amount of the world’s oil supply which passes through it.
In addition to doubling the minesweeper craft, the Navy will send four MH-53 helicopters, known as the “Sea Stallion,” which are also aimed at combating the perceived threat of mines in the Strait of Hormuz.
Currently, the Navy has five “close-action patrol boats” in the Persian Gulf, according to Danger Room, and soon that will be doubled as well. In addition to doubling the number of vessels, the Navy will retrofit all of the ships with missiles and high-tech Gatling guns.
Admiral Greenert likened the capabilities of the short-range boats as “a sawed-off shotgun” whereas the massive weaponry on the aircraft carriers stationed in the region are more like high-powered, long-range sniper rifles.
The ten crafts will get the Mk-38 Gatling Gun as well as the same missiles used by Navy SEALs capable of hitting Iranian targets on the shore from a distance of four miles, all of which should be ready to sail the Gulf and terrorize Iranians by next year.
On top of the additional anti-mine vessels and helicopters, the new boats with machine guns and missiles, and the many other military assets in countries surrounding Iran, the Navy’s surge will also include new torpedoes and unmanned submarines.
New advanced torpedoes, specifically designed for the “turpidity [and] particulate” drags (turpidity is explained here) of the waters in the Persian Gulf will be given to the Naval vessels encircling Iran.
“Underwater unmanned neutralization autonomous units,” as Greenert put it, better recognized simply as drone submarines, will also be dispatched, also to help hunt mines which may or may not (more likely the latter) be put in place by Iran.
In addition, every single Navy craft that sails through the Strait of Hormuz will be outfitted with new modular “infrared and electro-optical” systems in order to better see through the foggy Gulf nights.
Of course, on top of all of this equipment there will be the accompanying spare parts and crews of contractors who will assuredly be pulling in quite a hefty profit for their war profiteer bosses.
“I looked in every domain, undersea, surface and air,” Greenert said, “to make sure that we’re doing our best for the guys that are over there.”
Greenert seems to share my understanding of how the Iranian navy sees this buildup in positing that they are too sensible to actually preemptively attack the American Navy, knowing the destruction that it would bring.
The regular Iranian navy – meaning the forces outside of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – is, according to Greenert, “professional, courteous [and] good mariners,” and the IRGC forces are not “ramping up” in the Gulf and otherwise keeping their activities “normal.”
Hopefully it will remain this way, but I do not understand why the top brass at the Pentagon think that increasing the threat will encourage more peace.
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