Patterico's Pontifications


Iran Seized Two U.S. Navy Ships, Detains 10 U.S. Sailors

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:07 pm


Iranian military forces seized two U.S. Navy boats Tuesday and are detaining them on Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf, senior U.S. officials told NBC News.

The 10 American sailors aboard the small riverine vessels were on a training mission around noon ET when one of the boats may have experienced mechanical failure and drifted into Iranian-claimed waters, officials said. Iran’s coast guard took them into custody.

The officials said it’s unclear whether the sailors — nine men and one woman — had strayed into Iranian territorial waters before they were captured.

Obama will trumpet his alleged success in reaching a nuclear deal with Iran tonight, and will say nothing about the U.S. sailors in Iranian custody.

110 Responses to “Iran Seized Two U.S. Navy Ships, Detains 10 U.S. Sailors”

  1. Not-very-bold prediction:

    Obama will do and say whatever he needs to, in order to appease the Iranians.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  2. I had nothing to do with this.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  3. Mr. Triumphal and pukeworthy is true to form.

    I need a five gallon bucket.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  4. Christ, make it stop!!!

    Steve57 (17e737)

  5. if all else fails, they will likely be released on or about the day President Trump takes office…

    it’s beginning to look a lot like 1979.

    5hitty economy, 5hitty president, Iran getting frisky, weakened military, Moonbeam Brown in Sactomato.

    and no Ronald Reagan to be found, anywhere

    redc1c4 (f06ee1)

  6. Nothing will stand in the way of his “peace in our time”: On CNN with Wolf Blitzer, White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki assures the nation that Barack Obama will not address the Iran hostage situation during the State of the Union. Latest reports indicate that Iran “plans” to release the sailors after dawn, though the US Navy is capable of conducting virtually any type of operations in the dark. (Last caveat from me, not Psaki, though I sat through months of those night operations on an aircraft carrier when Iran had some other hostages back in 1980.)

    Dana (86e864)

  7. Obama is disgusting.
    Naturally, if there had been a cop vs suspect shooting which fit his political narrative, he’d probably rewrite his SOTU speech to accommodate the requisite grandstanding and finger-wagging.

    There’s a reason our hostages were released on the day of Reagan’s inauguration—they feared he’d actually do something.
    This is what happens when we have a weak President who appeases evil.

    The men and women of our military risk their lives when they serve abroad. We owe it to them to make every effort to bring ’em back alive.
    While guns are probably being pointed at our sailors, Obama’s going to lecture us all about “gun violence.”

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  8. Ah, to have a president with testicles, or at least one with the steel nerve of the Iron Lady.Alas, The One is a fancy nancy boy.

    Bugg (fa64ec)

  9. I switched on the TV wanting to see local news about the NFL’s decision today regarding the Rams returning to LA. Then I forgot what instead is preempting tonight’s regular programming and — flick — the TV is back off.

    Mark (f713e4)

  10. Tapper tweeted WH, why not mention this situation during SOTU… WH says because :

    “We don’t see this as hostile intent, they’ve been well treated, and we have received assurance they’ll be released.”

    Dana (86e864)

  11. I would die first.

    Maybe that is big talk after the embassy, but still.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  12. Because we know how trustworthy Iran is…

    Dana (86e864)

  13. The Iranians have seized the boats and equipment, including the satnav gear. The Russians will pay a high price for the opportunity to reverse engineer the little gizmos. Hard to figure what the Iranian’s will want in return, perhaps a couple of suitcase nukes or maybe the formula for a real H-Bomb? Barbara Boxer (ma’am) can clarify this. She was the source for the report of a mechanical breakdown that resulted in the boats’ capture. Still to be determined … how two boats could suffer the simultaneous mechanical failures?

    It will be interesting to see whether the crew will be released. If not, the spectrum ranges from being drawn and quartered to simply being humiliated, starved, raped, and then consigned to the same jail that is holding “our” reporters.

    Bainbridge managed to surrender the Philadelphia the very day he arrived on scene off Tripoli at the beginning of the Barbary War. In response, Decatur burned the Philadelphia in a daring night raid to prevent the pirates from having use of western technology (the Philadelphia, whose construction was beyond the capabilities of the thugs, rapists, and looters who comprised the armed forces of the pirates.)

    Peace in our time!

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  14. What ROE do these crews have? Are they allowed to fire on those who would board her? What is the mission for these vessels? Why on earth would you choose to crew on those vessels, knowing full well the lack of support you have?

    It seems to me Iran is perfectly justified in seizing those vessels and crews. Unless, of course, those were all refugees.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  15. “I’m really touched by a soliloquy on cynicism by a guy who doesn’t acknowledge 10 US sailors in Iranian custody.”

    – Steve Green

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. 14. …Are they allowed to fire on those who would board her? \
    Ed from SFV (3400a5) — 1/12/2016 @ 7:24 pm

    Allowed? They’re required to.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  17. No captain gives the order: prepare to fend off boarders lightly. And, only in the face of overwhelming force will a captain order his crew to stand-down and allow hostile forces to take control of his vessel. This ain’t beanbag.

    ropelight (b8c6e5)

  18. You just don’t give up he ship.

    It’s a truism, I know. But you just don’t do it. You die first.

    The Court of Inquiry convened by the United States Navy to inquire into the seizure of USS PUEBLO by North Korean forces on 23 January 1968 has completed its proceedings. It has carried out this complex and difficult assignment with commendable thoroughness, objectivity, and professional skill. Its report has been submitted to higher naval authorities for review….blockquote>

    Steve57 (17e737)

  19. Was the helo up?

    Steve57 (17e737)

  20. If the US was smart, they blow up the boats and everything on the island plus sink 10 – 20 Iranian ships and an oil port.

    Rodney King's Spirit (3adc86)

  21. If the US was smart, Mr. King’s Spirit, I wouldn’t be reading any of this.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  22. There’s more here than meets the eye. Those boats were operating in open waters, they aren’t riverine craft. They’re the size and type of fast stealthy boats used to make surreptitious entry into Indian territory.

    If one had been disable by mechanical problems the other one would have towed it to safety. The story of drifting into Iran’s territorial waters is pure disinformation.

    Hold your mud. The facts are being withheld.

    ropelight (b8c6e5)

  23. #22, You parking the island and sink the Navy plus destroy their oil terminal. Then you ask nicely for every American in Iran under custody or the next 48 hours would get genocidal.

    Rodney King's Spirit (3adc86)

  24. This is silly. You don’t start a war because two boats got lost and the crews were briefly detained.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  25. The Pentatgon puts out this picture.

    I call bulls***. If this took place in the Shatt Al Arab no riverine unit was
    within hailing distance

    I could say, but more info needs to come out.


    Steve57 (17e737)

  26. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!
    The Untouchables (dir. Brian De Palma 1987)

    Unfortunately, with this administration, such a frame of mind only applies to domestic enemies (Republicans). It doesn’t apply to Iran when they “detain” our ships.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  27. Inshore patrol boat, maybe, but not a river boat..

    Steve57 (17e737)

  28. The Rams are returning to LosAngel? Why?
    more perplexing – why would NFL want a team in LasAngel? it would cause less viewers and an NFL team would be in a place where it was the 5th entertainment dollar option.

    And score one for Patterico, no mention of the Iranian captives – not even the press onces.

    seeRpea (681f26)

  29. Yes that doesn’t make sense, that opposite the Iranian coast.

    narciso (732bc0)

  30. Was the helo up? Because, it not, someone has to pay. Small boat operations

    And if the helo was up how in the h3ll did this happen?

    Steve57 (17e737)

  31. Somehow, the UN will find a way to condemn Israel for all of this. And an editorial in the February edition of The Ron Paul Newsletter will be in agreement.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  32. The part where President Obama chided the public about whom we should pick as the next president, droning on about the will of the people being served. How is it Barry unaware of his Democrat party investing superdelegates with the power to decide the Democrat candidate, will of the people be damned?

    Why would anyone who professes a belief in democracy sign up with those bunch of crooks and their rigged system?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  33. Don’t count on the republican turd team to help these soldiers as they are to busy knocking Cruz and Trump voters.
    These pukes disgust me.

    mg (31009b)

  34. the merciful persians have decided to allow the hapless american sailors to go on their way as long as they promise to stop being so snoopy

    everyone learned a lot of valuable lessons about humility and mercy especially the failmericans

    happyfeet (831175)

  35. pics of the chastened failmerican sailors enjoying the hospitality of the great nation of Iran

    (their shoes were confiscated for to make sure they didn’t try to scamper away)

    happyfeet (831175)

  36. As eagerly confessed previously,
    I know next to nothing about these things,
    But I read elsewhere that there is some high tech stuff on these boats
    “that the Russians would love to reverse engineer”.

    Either they see Obama as a stealth ally, or they don’t even laugh at him anymore because they have too much contempt for him.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  37. what did one failmerican sailor say to the other failmerican sailor?

    “My toesies are cold. I wish I had shoes!”

    happyfeet (831175)

  38. “I told you kids to keep off my lawn. If you want your bikes back, have your parents to come get them.”

    nk (dbc370)

  39. I doubt their shoes were confiscated. It’s customary with “those people” to take off one’s shoes inside another person’s house. Especially if you’re going to be stepping on a nice Persian carpet.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. good point except why would they put them on persian carpets?

    they’d fly away!

    happyfeet (831175)

  41. I’m here in Saudi. Good news: the sailors have been returned. The capture seems ridiculously inept. This is either incompetence or skullduggery–perhaps a combination of both. I’ll ask around here with some of the locals.

    Golden Eagle (932370)

  42. This kind of stuff happens all the time. The last time that I remember with Iran involved British sailors enforcing the sanctions. Only complete @@@holes, like Turks and Russians, turn this into a shooting incident.

    This story is too good not to be true: During WWII, Germany sent an Army detachment with tanks to a Swiss border crossing, manned by by a handful of Swiss border guards. One of the tanks crossed a little over the line. The Swiss guard on duty pulled his pistol, pointed it at the tank, and said “Move back”. The German commander, wisely, radioed Berlin for orders. He was told, “Move back”.

    nk (dbc370)

  43. I’ll speculate here: there seems to be a power struggle in Iran. The U.S. hopes to support the “moderates” in the military, who are locked in conflict with “hardliners.” The Iran deal aims to placate the military. The hardliners burned the Saudi embassy in Teheran and another consulate after the execution of Nimr Al-Nimr. This was the hardliners’ overplaying their hand, and the moderates scolded them and regretted the burning–they posted guards to prevent its recurrence. Saudi and the Gulf States are playing good cop-bad-cop with the U.S. If the Iranians back off in Syria and behave (proof of a “moderate” dominance), the Saudis will cut production and let the oil price rise. This won’t hurt the U.S. economy with our fracking capability.

    Mind you, the Iranians gamed the world the same way in an Iranian hostage crisis in 1979-1980, but the hardliners are much less popular among the Iranian populace now. If Obama didn’t come across as such a naif, I’d be less suspicious.

    In the military and intelligence sectors, Saudi-U.S. cooperation remains rock solid.

    The capture of the sailors? Is the U.S. in contact with “moderate ” elements in the Iranian military? We can’t be that incompetent. Did hardliners foil some covert contact that had been arranged?

    Occam’s razor, however, says the sailors were just dunderheads. Yet I wonder . . .

    Golden Eagle (932370)

  44. For a complete repeat of the disastrous Carter presidency, I guess you would need a taking of hostages by the Iranians. Luckily, these mullahs were too fat and comfy to hang on to them for long.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  45. The media has headlined the good news that the sailors have been released, which supports the administration’s notion that we can strike a deal with Iran. This is of importance since the removal of sanctions associated with nuclear (weapons) agreement will occur this coming Monday.

    This is a very strange incident. The trespass was said to have occurred off Farsi Island which is a tiny (.5 km diameter) coral reef half way between Kuwait and Bahrain. The coordinates are 27.99N 50.17E. If you google this location and use the earth view you can see what the island looks like. The island is slightly closer to Saudi Arabia than Iran. The boats were said to be traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain, a distance of about 300 nm, which is a fairly substantial patrol for these small boats. One reason being that in any kind of an elevated sea state they’d be forced to reduce their speed to around 10 knots, which makes for a lengthy passage.

    The Fox News story said “[t]he Riverine boats are not considered high-tech and don’t contain any sensitive equipment, so there were no concerns about the Iranians gaining access to the craft[‘]s [equipment?]” Perhaps Steve would comment on whether this is reasonable. My expectation is that their communication equipment would surely has some options for secure operation, and their GPS gear must have the ability to hook into the military side of the satellite signal. But perhaps this has all been compromised a long time ago. I recall that during the Iraq war, for example, use was made of commercial astronomy gear to hack the military GPS signals.

    The sailors and their boats were allowed to leave Iranian waters and they have been flown to an aircraft carrier for debriefing. Suggesting that the boats were retrieved by a larger vessel capable of helicopter operations.

    The only thing that makes sense, given the release of the sailors, is that this makes the administration look somewhat more competent than we might expect, and this makes the lifting of sanctions appear to be little less feckless.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  46. this makes the administration look somewhat more competent than we might expect,

    Disagree. I expect the Iranians were well aware of the SOTU speech and chose to humiliate Obama as one more example of their rubbing his nose in his failure.

    Have you seen the videos of the US sailors apologizing ? Disgusting scenes. Brings memories of Jimmy Carter.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  47. oh goodness how humiliating for America

    happyfeet (831175)

  48. that poor sailor guy’s parents must alternate between being mortified and livid moment by moment

    i bet they need a drink

    happyfeet (831175)

  49. The detention of “Clock Boy” in Irving, TX by the school Principal seems to have been more upsetting to the Obama Administration.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  50. They’ll be glad he’s alive. No person in his right mind would want either American or Iranian sailors to fight and die over this meaningless encounter.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. Kerry says release of US sailors ‘testament’ to Iran diplomacy, nuke deal going forward

    As I expected, this is viewed as a victory for the administration. A “testament” to Kerry’s diplomacy, no less.

    Those guys and gals kneeling before their Persian masters sends all the wrong messages.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  52. nk, it is meaningless to whom? And if defending yourself against Iranians out to have a little fun at our expense is meaningless, how on earth will we get our ships out of the Persian Gulf as the boys and girls who now man Obama’s Navy withdraw to safer waters. And where will they find “safer” waters.

    This is the kind of defense ship owners have employed against muslim pirates. “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”!

    These pictures display the administration’s idea of what a U. S. victory will look like in the future.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  53. yes yes i’m sure they’re happy about the part where he’s still breathing but these pictures and videos where the iranians humiliate their kid are no bueno

    i can’t belieber the new york times thinks this is a sign of food stamp’s awesomeness

    (i think they’re being a little bit disingenuous)

    happyfeet (831175)

  54. I have a strong suspicion that they reported their looming difficulties to their chain of command, and then were ordered to surrender. That’s one problem with modern communications. The technology allows the politicos in the WH to micro-manage everything.

    The question then becomes who ordered them out on this patrol?

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  55. Meaningless to everybody. No land, portable wealth, or women were gained or lost. Young sailors went to where they should not have gone and were sent back home with a scolding. Meh. Nothing worth a single drop of blood being shed. Let’s save our troops for battles that need to be fought.

    nk (dbc370)

  56. we haven’t heard for sure whether or not they got their shoes back

    happyfeet (831175)

  57. That’s because Iran is selling their shoes to Russia (for the reverse-engineeringz) in exchange for portable death ray.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  58. But good news: Al Jazeera America* is kaput.

    *oxymoron alert

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  59. i heard the same about one direction

    happyfeet (831175)

  60. nk, do we know that they “went to where they should not have gone?” And if so, do we know who sent them there? Farsi Island, its surrounding waters, and Iranian ownership are a fairly well established feature of the Persian Gulf. If our boys and girls in the Navy don’t know how to navigate under these constraints, then it is probably best that we just give the Iranians our boats and catch the next flight home.

    How about we assume that four or five of the open speed boats operated by the Iranian Navy intercepted them in Saudi waters. Would you still conclude that there’s nothing to be gained? And if the Iranians initiated this action, how can you presume to know what their motives were? They must have concluded it was worth the risk.

    My problem is that no one should presume that capturing a American vessel is risk free.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  61. everything is spiraling out of control

    happyfeet (831175)

  62. Bob, this is indeed strange.

    It’s so strange that originally I was convinced that the entire story was wrong. The last time the IRGCN seized a small craft it was a RHIB from a British destroyer conducting Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure. My immediate reaction was that something similar had happened, and there was no way this could have been a river combatant.

    That’s why I was asking if the helo was up. I do know a little about VBSS as well as harbor defense and port security. One of my first jobs after I left active duty was with a mixed Coast Guard-Navy Harbor Defense Command, which no longer exists in anything like its late 90s form. In fact the entire branch of the service, Naval Coastal Warfare, no longer exists but has morphed into the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command. This River Squadron 1 belonged to the NECC.

    But back when it was Naval Coastal Warfare although we never worked with the riverine units. Back then the riverine units were, like Naval Coastal Warfare, entirely reserve commands. We shared the same reserve base.

    This is all very odd, and I’m convinced we still don’t have the story straight. For instance, the article at your link says:

    …The boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain at the time, and the Pentagon briefly lost contact with the crew. Officials said the sailors were part of the Riverine Squadron 1 based in San Diego and were deployed to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain…

    Riverine Squadron 1 isn’t in San Diego. It isn’t anywhere; like almost all of my old commands it no longer exists. It was at Little Creek as of 2011. In 2012 it merged with Maritime Security Squadron 4 in 2012 to form Coastal Riverine Squadron Four.

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (NNS) — Coastal Riverine Squadron (CORIVRON) 4 was established Aug. 1, during a ceremony aboard Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story.

    The squadron merges Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 1 and Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 4, making it the first squadron to merge since the establishment of Coastal Riverine Force (CORIVFOR) June 1…

    Also the Navy has been equipping these Coastal Riverine squadrons with new craft. The boats the Iranians seized were Swedish-designed CB90s. The Navy calls these craft Riverine Command Boats (RCB). The Navy still operates craft similar in size and function to the PBRs which may be familiar to people from Vietnam war movies such as Apocalypse Now. There are (or were) various types; the most recent was designated Small Unit Riverine Craft when it was operated exclusively by the Marines and is known as a Riverine Patrol Boat in the Navy. I should add that there was no Riverine Squadron One prior to 2006. The active duty Navy simply didn’t have a riverine mission. They left that to the reserves and the Marines.

    It would be insane to attempt this journey in a SURC/RPB. They’re entirely open to the elements, there’s no galley, certainly no berthing, and no head.

    Well, maybe a porta potty.

    A CB90 kinda makes sense as that craft actually has blue water capability and has something in the way of accommodations for troops although it wouldn’t be a comfortable 300nm Nor do I see how it’s possible, because according to unclassified sources the RCB only has a range of 240nm. In fact of the several navies that operate the CB90 the USN is as far as I know the only navy to designate it as a riverine craft. CB just stands for combat boat, and most if not all the other navies use it as such. Just a general purpose combat boat, and most use it primarily offshore.

    Now things just keep getting weirder. Then Navy only has six of these riverine command boats. Emphasis on command, as in command and control. As I mentioned, it has a troop compartment,
    but this boat can be reconfigured to perform a variety of missions. As a command and control boat that compartment can be fitted with extra systems to support the OTC.

    What sort of command, control, communications, and intelligence systems? The Navy says it’s a secret.

    …The new RCB has stirred up a lot of interest in the Navy, Wood said — both from the new conventional riverine force, the naval special warfare community and surface warfare operators.

    But some aspects of the new boat will be kept under wraps.

    “We can’t say everything we want to say, because the Navy doesn’t want us to,” he said…

    This just doesn’t square with the idea these “Riverine boats are not considered high-tech and don’t contain any sensitive equipment, so there were no concerns about the Iranians gaining access to the craft[‘]s [equipment?].”

    These boats cost nearly $3 million a pop. They are most definitely high tech, as one would expect with a command boat. The low-tech RPBs are controlled by this expensive, high-tech asset.

    So this whole story is very, very fishy. There is no Riverine Squadron One, hasn’t been for going on four years, and it never was based in San Diego. The government is telling us that the Iranians seized a “low tech” river patrol boat. According to the pictures his wouldn’t be it.

    And these expensive, high-tech command and control craft, we are told, somehow got lost or broke
    down? I still don’t know what version of the story is true, if any of them
    are. Initial reporting said something about a propulsion problem. Which didn’t
    make any sense as these RCBs have twin diesel engines. They have two
    entirely separate propulsion systems. Now, according to the man identified
    as the commander it was a GPS issue that caused the boat to drift into
    Iranian waters. If it were possible to make less sense than the story about
    some mechanical malfunction with the propulsion system, the GPS story would
    be it. I would expect a command boat to have redundant navigation systems. And the the commander of the command boat would know how to navigate. Plus, there were two RCBs transiting together.

    Oh, and the Iranians have seize the craft’s GPS.

    Since this administration has brazenly lied to America’s face so many times
    I’m tempted to put this story in the same category as the Benghazi video tale
    and “If you like your plan you can keep your plan.” Plus there’s the fact this preezy has a history of making secret handshake deals with America’s enemies, and keeping that a secret only from the American people.

    There are small craft units based in San Diego, and they have craft that could easily make the 300nm transit. But those aren’t coastal riverine units; they’re Special Boat Units and they operate the Mark V Special Warfare Craft, and starting last summer they began receiving the follow-on Mark VI.

    I’m just not able to give this administration any benefit of any doubt, and I
    have lots of doubts about this story. Beginning with the fact that there isn’t RIVRON One and never was in San Diego. Then there’s the fact that these RCBs aren’t supposed to be capable of this voyage in the first place. Then moving on to the fact that according to the official version of this story two boats were seized together. I can think of no engineering or systems
    casualty that can explain that. Then they’re saying these craft aren’t considered high-tech. Funny, that wasn’t the story when they started acquiring these craft and had to justify the cool $3 million price tag.

    There are just so many questions I can’t believe this story.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  63. “Plus there’s the fact this preezy has a history of making secret handshake deals with America’s enemies, and keeping that a secret only from the American people.”

    – Steve57

    Far be it from an American president to make secret handshake deals with Iran, right?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  64. “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”

    – Ronald Reagan

    Stupid facts and evidence, stomping all over my heart and best intentions.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  65. Are you insinuating Obama traded arms for hostages, Leviticus?

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  66. I’ll wager a Mexican Coke that that is exactly what happened, Hoagie. Steve57 has the right of it. Whatever was “lost” needed to be carried in two boats. Is my tinfoil cap showing?

    felipe (56556d)

  67. i completely missed this yesterday nobody tells me anything

    Suicide bomber kills 10 people, mainly Germans, in Istanbul

    happyfeet (831175)

  68. My bad. There is a Coastal Riverine Squadron One in San Diego.

    According to the fact sheet it’s one of two reserve component squadrons assigned to the west coast. As you may have gleaned from my earlier comment, the commands that fall under the NECC are constantly standing-up, merging, and being disestablished. Which is why I felt compelled to keep investigating.

    Whatever Riverine and/or Maritime Security Squadrons were combined and/or renamed in the late 2012/early 2013 time frame to form CRS-1, it wasn’t Riverine Squadron One as that was an active component squadron on the east coast.

    My remaining suspicions, however, still stand. I am open to the possibility of incompetence on a massive scale. Now the latest reporting indicates the crews of these two boats were relieved and replacement crews sailed the boats to Bahrain.

    But the incompetence would defy the imagination, and would extend farther up the chain of command then the CO of this unit and the detachment commander. Part of the problem is these people still can’t get their story straight. I saw the video of who was purported to be the commander apologizing and blaming his “mistake” on the GPS. But then some news outlets are still saying one of the boats was disabled and couldn’t maneuver. But a GPS failure wouldn’t cause that. What’s the deal? Did everything fail?

    If this skipper was so monumentally incompetent he couldn’t navigate without his GPS, and no one else on either boat could, and/or they experienced a mechanical failure so total, that the level of maintenance at this command is so awful, that both engines and/or both jet drives could nuke the koala at the same time, I don’t see how whoever performed this unit’s readiness assessment would fail to notice.

    Assuming that somebody evaluated this unit before it deployed.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  69. “Are you insinuating Obama traded arms for hostages, Leviticus?”

    – Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie

    I’m “insinuating” that it would hardly be unprecedented of him to do so – a fact that many conservatives would love to forget.

    But I don’t want you guys to forget. So I’m reminding you.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  70. so farsi island lies nearly equidistant, between the two countries, so were they surveiling it, and why exactly,

    narciso (732bc0)

  71. 64. …Far be it from an American president to make secret handshake deals with Iran, right?

    Leviticus (efada1) — 1/13/2016 @ 2:17 pm

    Reagan didn’t give the Iranians nukes. And Reagan come clean.

    This Preezy continues to lie to our faces.

    From the link Bob provided @46:

    …Meanwhile, Iran was expected to satisfy the terms of last summer’s nuclear deal in just days. Once the U.N. nuclear agency confirms Iran’s actions to roll back its program, the United States and other Western powers are obliged to suspend wide-ranging oil, trade and financial sanctions on Tehran. Kerry recently said the deal’s implementation was “days away.”

    There is no way for anyone to “confirm” Iran has rolled back its nuclear program because they never provided a baseline. Iran’s domestic agents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington negotiated on behalf of Iran and against the other four countries at the table as well as against the IAEA when Iran refused to meet its obligations per the provisional JPOA.

    They refused to come clean. And this administration let them off the hook. And this administration is now lying, again, on behalf of the Iranians and saying they did meet their obligations. They never have.

    It’s ridiculous to compare this unfolding disaster to anything Reagan, or any other President for that matter, ever did.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  72. I see, Levidicus. You were just trying to somehow bother conservatives by bringing up a thirty five year old “gotcha”. I guess there aren’t enough contemporary scandals from fast & furious to Hillary’s! entire lie soaked career. Thanks for the reminder.

    For a minute there I actually thought you were a conspiracy guru and a political genius. My bad.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  73. Leviticus is playing squirrel. The Obama Admin now alternates between being Iran’s lawyers, and their spokesholes.

    JD (d2b0db)

  74. I wonder what was on that Russian plane the Turks shot down that Putin wanted the Turks to have.

    nk (dbc370)

  75. and I have just the counselor in mind:

    narciso (732bc0)

  76. 71. so farsi island lies nearly equidistant, between the two countries, so were they surveiling it, and why exactly,

    narciso (732bc0) — 1/13/2016 @ 3:57 pm

    Coastal Riverine Squadrons do have an ISR mission, but there’s no way you’d pick these craft to collect intel off an Iranian island. Not unless we’ve forgotten everything we ever learned from the Pueblo and Liberty incidents.

    We have ships in the Gulf better equipped to collect intel, certainly better able to defend themselves if the Iranians were to try and seize a USN vessel in waters they claim but we dispute, and plus we also have drones now, so why would you send any ship into harm’s way?

    If for some reason you did need to send a ship into harm’s way, though, there are much better choices.

    As I mentioned earlier, I’m open to the possibility that we are looking at incompetence on a massive scale, but as I also said it would run a lot farther up the chain than just this Coastal Riverine Squadron’s leadership.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  77. “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”

    – Ronald Reagan

    Stupid facts and evidence, stomping all over my heart and best intentions.

    Leviticus (efada1) — 1/13/2016 @ 2:18 pm

    It’s indisputable that Reagan traded arms for hostages. We can debate whether that was wise, but at least Reagan got hostages in return. What’s totally bizarre and in fact insane about Obama is that it appears he’s giving them billions of dollars and allowing them to get ICBM’s, and it’s unclear whether Iran will ever do anything they’re supposed to. As of now the signs are not good.

    Gerald A (949d7d)

  78. The Riverine Ultimatum, by Luthor Humdrum.

    A U.S. Navy ensign, angry at the Navy’s delay in scheduling his sex-change operation, attempt to defect to Iran by scuttling a top-secret Navy patrol craft in Iranian waters. Now Nukem Killem, the CIA’s Iranian-born former top falafel chef, is forced to come out of retirement and infiltrate the hotel where the crew of the boat are held with the most dangerous assignment of his career — to burn the baba ganoush. A page-turner that will have you on the edge of your seat.

    nk (dbc370)

  79. If The Onion still had a reason for existing, you would be a natural, nk.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  80. Don’t confuse the young man with the facts, Gerald A.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. Obama will do and say whatever he needs to, in order to appease the Iranians.

    He has not yet begun to hashtag.

    On the other hand, the world moves apace.

    Though he has let Tehran get away with “robust debate” shenanigans of one kind or another since at least 2009, presumably between filling in NCAA brackets or whatever, the Iranians have been (quietly) losing some of their best Guard officers in Syria.

    I suppose that the Iranians could go on exporting their permanent party-militant revolution for some time. Given the costs of maintaining a secret police apparatus that is on a par with most national reserve forces while promoting expensive expeditionary adventures elsewhere, however, I get the impression that the resources of the Iranian state will be sorely tested.

    Which is to say, the regional opportunities presented by Obama’s weakness may actually Iranian overindulgence.

    JP (e30f35)

  82. *may actually lead to Iranian overindulgence.

    JP (e30f35)

  83. yes, the sepah, and their hezbollah proxies have not been fairing well, in the varsity matches with nusra front, or the abdulazziz brigades farther west,

    narciso (732bc0)

  84. Jaysus, John Kerry would’ve been a natural to play the lead in “Being There”. He gives new meaning to the words “clueless”, “dense” and “moronic”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. comeon, pikachu, the girl naavi, the one in colombiana, also guardians of the galaxy, the green skinned one,

    narciso (732bc0)

  86. ohhh


    boy ryan better check himself before he wreck himself

    happyfeet (831175)

  87. sorry crossed streams,

    much like the reports out of NK, last week, who to believe,

    narciso (732bc0)

  88. I’d like to sear… sear! something upside Kerry’s dumb ass..

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  89. Thanks for the info, Steve5.

    In a deal in the ’60s, Saudi Arabia and Iran each took an island in the Gulf: Al-Arabiyya Island for the Saudis, and Farsi Island for the Iranians. The two islands are just a few miles apart. Were the U.S. RCB boats posted on the Saudi island? Otherwise, it’s as if these sailors were in two canoes in the middle of Lake Superior.

    I wonder whether the Russians let the Iranians know we were doing some snooping–probably tapping their communications. Do you folks think an enemy could disable or hack an opponent’s GPS system? In the best case, the U.S. Navy tolerated this humiliation for long-term knowledge of cyber-battle techniques.

    I’m really working here to deny the incompetence, but I can’t do it without drifting off into deep and duplicitous waters . . .

    I’m sure the sailors just followed standard-procedure orders with any statements they made.

    Golden Eagle (932370)

  90. —He has not yet begun to hashtag.

    (as long as you don’t think about it too much,
    then it gets sad)

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  91. Nobody can say that Obama doesn’t support the military. He does support the military. It just happens to be Iran’s military which he supports.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  92. Stupid facts and evidence, stomping all over my heart and best intentions.

    Luckily for Obama, he has neither heart nor best intentions.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  93. Well, the Dems might spin this as a Kumbyah moment, but clearly it wasn’t:

    Iran had its missiles locked on a US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf after two small US Navy boats drifted into Iranian territorial waters, and its forces were awaiting orders to fire, the naval commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Wednesday, in the aftermath of the crisis.

    Gen. Ali Fadavi, of the hard-line IRGC military force, scoffed at the “unprofessional behavior” of the US fleet during the crisis, warned that Iran could have inflicted an unprecedented “catastrophe” upon the US forces, and bragged that the US would never prevail in a confrontation with Iran in the Gulf.

    Dana (86e864)

  94. But Joe Biden says the IRG actually “rescued” our sailors!

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  95. I’ve been poking around at a couple of outstanding USN blogs; CDR Salamander and the US Naval Institute (USNI) blog.

    Nobody else seems to my suspicion that the administration if just flat lying about everything. Which is pretty much my default position every time something happens. But the consensus in the comment sections are that this is most likely enormous incompetence, and it runs up the entire chain of command. Saying this was a poorly planned mission is the understatement of this still-young century.

    A lot of people have also picked up on the fact that these boats were supposed to travel approximately 300nm, and their official, unclas range is far less than that.

    I expect that the unclas sources aren’t quite correct, but still 1) 300nm is still a stretch for these craft and leaves no margin for error and 2) if the actual range of these craft is greater than 300nm, that fact is classified and you don’t reveal their actual range by sending them on a voyage greater than what is stated in unclas sources.

    So there is the distinct, jaw-dropping possibility they just ran out gas.

    These boats were supposed to rendezvous with a larger vessel to refuel, but according to the NYT they missed that rendezvous. This is one of those inexplicable head scratchers about what seems to be this administration’s official explanation. I mean, “s*** happens” doesn’t cut it. It’s precisely because s*** happens that you have a plan B, and a plan C, etc. Why didn’t they have extra fuel onboard? Whey didn’t they hug the Saudi coast so they could pull into a Saudi port to refuel?

    Why were they so undercrewed? These boats normally have a crew of 3; two officers and an engineer. This accounts for six of the 10 sailors the Iranians detained. So there were another two sailors per boat. What kind of sailors? I doubt they had enough crew members to fight the boat, although there were enough empty weapons mounts that it looks like nobody ever considered the option.

    Again, who planned and approved this mission? The IRGCN just harassed the Truman CSG in the Strait of Hormuz a few days ago? Who sends a short-handed Riverine Command Boat past a well known Iranian-held island when the IRGCN is acting up?

    Better yet, who sends out these small craft with no larger vessels with helos in support?

    There’s more I could go into. Basically, it’s almost inconceivable that incompetence is the reason the Iranians got their hands of these boats. I know this particular unit, CRS-1 deployed to the Fifth Fleet AOR and performed this same mission (operating these RCBs) in 2013. I know Fifth Fleet has an extensive library of lessons learned, and they have a pretty robust program for disseminating those lessons learned.

    The last time this happened, when the IRGCN siezed a British boat, I joked that happened because the RN wasn’t attending the regular Fifth Fleet briefings along with their Australian and American counterparts (they really weren’t sending reps to those briefings).

    It’s almost as every sailor from the Fifth Fleet commander on down got lobotomized. That’s how unbelievable that sheer incompetence can explain this incident. I’m not going to say it’s impossible that everybody involved in this from its conception to its execution failed miserably at everything, but it’s close.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  96. We’ll never know, Steve… we’ll never know…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  97. The incompetence required to lose naval craft in this manner is beyond imagination.

    Maybe this whole operation is a Trojan Horse; just maybe we left a computer virus on some of our equipment knowing that the enemy would almost certainly try to hack into some of that equipment. Boom, instant vector into an Iranian secure facility.

    I’m going to pretend that is what we did, the alternative is beyond sad.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8)

  98. The sea is the sea. You practice good seamanship or you perish.

    nk (dbc370)

  99. Pons Asinorum, I wish I could believer you’re right. I wish I could convince myself, but I just can’t.

    If you go to the USNI blog to top post by CDR Salamander, “The Strategic Everyone,” has a number videos from Iranian TV. The interior shots in the last video are educational. Rack upon rack of electronics. It’s hard to believe that among all that gear there was nothing sensitive or classified.

    These RCBs aren’t cheap, simple riverine craft. They have to be license-built by a US defense contractor, SAFEboat industries, because they’ve got cleared individuals who are US citizens precisely because they are fairly high tech and revealing some of the requirements and/or specifications to the Swedish manufacturer would compromise classified defense information. Which is a crime.

    So here they are talking down the Iranian seizure of these command and control boats as if they’re low tech. It just isn’t true, but that has never shut them up before.

    Unfortunately I’m convinced by the kind of duplicity by this administration discussed at the following link that if the US was betraying anyone it would have been the US and the Saudis/Gulf states to Iran’s benefit.

    Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering was advising Hillary! on how to restart the failed, stupid “peace process.” His advice? Launch a covert action against Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

    …Pickering makes a surprising and disturbing reappearance in Hillary’s secret e-mail system in a fine catch by the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, in which he encourages Hillary to foment protests by Palestinians as a way to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to move off the “status quo.”

    Pickering wanted a game-changer. He may have belatedly provided one

    …In case no one already knew this, Pickering emphasized the need for covert action

    …Gee, I wonder how many other foreign protests were facilitated by the State Department? Were any others sparked against American allies in that region? One has to wonder after reading this how much the State Department might have had to do with some of the “Arab Spring” protests, too. (In fact, at one point Pickering says that the effort must be “just like Tahrir Square,” a mention that might interest our allies in Egypt.) This e-mail thread doesn’t indicate whether Hillary took Pickering’s advice, but she certainly appeared to take it under advisement. And while the e-mail itself wasn’t classified, it’s yet another example of how these kinds of communications can harm American interests when transmitted in the open. This would be enough to create a massive backlash among our allies, and in fact may still do so.

    The various official explanations make no sense. And given this administration’s enthusiasm for betraying our allies and lying to the American people about what they’re really up to particularly in the case of Iran I can’t help but believe that whatever was going on it’s entirely different than what we’re being told. I have no idea what the truth might be, just that I’m convinced the truth is something entirely different from what we’re being told.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  100. some details about the story, up thread:

    his brother had been a shaheed, yet he wasn’t flagged,

    narciso (732bc0)

  101. Just wanted to remind everyone of the hypocrisy in complaining about Obama’s imaginary underhanded dealings with Iran. Glad you got to think about it for a second. Carry on.

    Leviticus (c3e73d)

  102. Steve, you are probably closer to true.

    Another thing that struck me as odd, the adminstration was awfully confident they would get the sailors back in short (and good) order, they were practically giddy about it.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8)

  103. Leviticus @104, we know what you wanted to do. And the rest of us wanted you to know something, too.

    You failed miserably.

    Pons Asinorum @105, yes, that was strange. How could they be so confident? When the Iranians seized those British sailors and marines in 2007 they held onto them for about two weeks.

    Also in 2007 the Iranians entered Diyala province, inside Iraq, and attempted to ambush and kidnap a US/Iraqi infantry patrol. They needed hostages to exchange for Iranian personnel that US forces had captured. Again, inside Iraq.

    The infantrymen had to shoot their way out of the trap. It’s possible, probable, that the US troops killed at least one Iranian in the exchange. These games the Iranians play can turn deadly.

    Yet this administration seemed to know ahead of time the Iranians wouldn’t hold these sailors for over a day. It’s almost as if they were in on the Iranians plans. And how do we know they weren’t?

    According to official Iranian news sources, the Iranians say they seized the boats and detained the sailors to give “troublemakers” in Congress a lesson.

    DUBAI, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Iran’s army chief said on Wednesday the seizure of two U.S. navy boats and their 10 sailors should be a lesson to members the U.S. Congress trying to impose new sanctions on Tehran…

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Obama wants to give those same “troublemakers” the same lesson. I wouldn’t put it past them to work covertly with the Iranians against their domestic enemies in Congress. They were apparently seriously considering working covertly with the Palestinians to force Israel to act against its own interests, so whey not this? This latest incident advances Obama’s program, and his false narratives. It works for him, as he sees it, on many different levels. It provides the Iranians with degrading, humiliating, and illegal propaganda footage, thus reducing America’s prestige and shows our allies and prospective allies we can’t be trusted. This has clearly been a pet project since day one of his administration. In contrast anyone in the region looking for the “strong horse” have to conclude that would be the Iranians. Apparently when Obama said Iran could be a very successful regional power, we didn’t know just how far the administration would go to make that a reality. And it advances his false narrative that somehow his disastrous abortion of a non-deal with Iran over nukes somehow provides the US with tangible benefits.

    There are a great many similarities between what happened at Benghazi and this incident. In both cases the administration claimed to have certainty about enemy intentions as if they were in on the planning. In both cases its inexplicable why there weren’t any forces available to respond. Or rather, in both cases its inexplicable why available forces didn’t respond. In the case of Benghazi there were two AC-130s that could have responded, one less then an hour away in Sigonella and the other six hours away in Djibouti, and in this case where were NAVCENT’s considerable assets? Then in both cases there was a shocking lack of preparations. Things that are just common sense, standard operating procedure in this case, just weren’t done.

    I’d really like to know more about these boats’ state of readiness. It appears that they were adequately manned, equipped, or supported to safely operate in the potentially hostile waters of the Persian Gulf. Perhaps they weren’t trained to do so as well. What was their ROE, and what has their ROE been during this deployment? Were these sailors ordered to stand down, and was that sailor ordered to make that embarrassing apology? Another way to put it, were those sailors ordered to violate the Code of Conduct?

    How many times do we need to learn the lesson that you need to be ready all the time, ready to respond to a threat that can take shape in seconds, in the Gulf? I know the people at Fifth Fleet are aware of these facts. So I can’t understand how his happened.

    But it happened, and it’s like we were begging for it to happen.

    Steve57 (17e737)

  104. The Iranians were “fantastic”. Appropriately thanked for their hands on head, on your knees, give us your weapons and your boats “hospitality”.

    Colonel Haiku (933076)

  105. It’s not too late. The Navy should re-arm those sailors (taking the cost of the weapons out of their pay), and send them back to Iran with orders not to come back until they have washed away this stain on America’s honor with Iranian blood or their own blood.

    nk (dbc370)

  106. I say we give ’em Obama. No deposit, no return.

    Colonel Haiku (933076)

  107. @Steve57, the various explanations offered by the administration make no sense to me either.


    In the military, you plan a mission.

    You have mechanics and technicians (notice the plural) who check and double-check every single system aboard. These mechanics and technicians have specialized training and specific protocols that must be met prior to launching any mission. These protocols are developed with all the institutional knowledge and practical experience available, and often reflect decades and even centuries of military thought and practices.

    You have equipment and redundant equipment for every mission critical system, especially navigation and communications.

    Fuel and range considerations have multiple contingency plans.

    Mechanical failures have multiple contingency plans.

    You have Rules of Engagement (ROE) before you launch.

    The list goes on and on.

    Things almost always go wrong on a mission (weather, intelligence, equipment…) and in the military that is precisely what you plan to happen. It is called contingency planning. These contingency plans are mostly designed to ensure the ultimate success of the mission, or worse case, mission abort.

    To anyone in the military, the surrender of US Navy boats makes no sense when matched with the given — and now multiple — explanations:
    * Mechanical failure
    * Navigational error
    * Run aground

    These are all things that would typically have a contingency plan, and surrender to Iranian authorities would not be such a contingency given that there are better and less risky remedial strategies.

    To just about anyone in the military, or formerly in the military, the evolving explanations make no sense and should rightfully be questioned. Same for any American citizen that wants better for their country.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8)

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