The Pentagon has just released video of the confrontation Sunday between U.S. warships and high-speed boats from Iran.
You can view it here.
The Associated Press report says a heavily accented man could be heard saying, "I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes." See if you can pick it up.
From the Hopper's bridge, after spotting the approaching Iranian boats, a Navy crew member says over the radio: "This is coalition warship. I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law. Intend no harm."
Often uneven and shaky, the video condenses what Navy officials have said was a 20-minute or so clash. It ends with a blank screen, as only the audio of the Navy's final warning can be heard, just after the voice warns that they are coming.
Been there, done that...21 years active duty, ship did the right thing, no second guessing allowed...none of us know ROE as they will be classified. Too many pundits and armchair warriors already condemn the USN for not lighting them up...short answer to them is...go find your own war to fight!
Perhaps predictably, Iran claims the footage is fake:
I think they were in a bind--either the local commanders were acting on their own (and not responding to the chain of command), or they tried a gambit and failed (and don't want to admit it).
Both make Iran look bad. So, "its a fake".
How does the US Navy not have a translator to broadcast their messages over the radio. Prerecorded messages would be better than nothing.
Apparently communication with Iran does not take place in large scale or small scale situations.
It is scary to think that if an incident does occur it may be due to something as simple as not being able to speak to eachother.
Well, if it an incident had occurred, Mike, it would've been because a bunch of speedboats played chicken with a warship.
But your question is an interesting one.
I know that aviation has solved this problem. The official language of ALL aviation is English.
I wonder if a similar rule in effect for maritime?
Yes Bob, for licensed captains (Meaning international shipping vessels in this case) English is typically the language of choice. However when you take small vessels into account from foreign Navy's, I can assure you that learning English is not a priority...
It's frustrating. I would just assume that the US Navy would want to pursue all reasonable measures to prevent an incident, especially with Iran.
Maybe we should start an organization to provide translators to the military.