By Cpl. Rubin J. Tan
Last month, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 sailed through the Strait of Hormuz aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise one month after leaving its homeport of Norfolk, Va.
Iran has recently had the intention to control the amount of transits through their territorial waters and the Strait of Hormuz.
“By sailing through the strait aboard a United States warship, we are demonstrating that we will continue to maintain freedom of navigation and will support our allies in the gulf while deterring possible enemies who may want to close the Strait of Hormuz and impact the economies around the world,” said the Carrier Strike Group 12 Command Master Chief Michael Manning.
The strait, also known as the world oil transit chokepoint, is part of the international waterway connecting the Arabian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Any vessel, regardless of host nation, can use the international waterway.
The carrier is supporting maritime security operations in the United States’ 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibility before becoming decommissioned
later this year after more than 50 years of service.
The USS Enterprise faced many potential dangers during its transit such as collisions with other ships due to high traffic, fog, surface-to-air threats, air-to-air threats and surface-to-surface threats.
Carrier Air Wing 1 aircraft aboard the Enterprise was employed to provide aerial support during the difficult conditions.
“Navy and Marine Corps aviation platforms on an aircraft carrier collectively train to protect our assets and to be proficient in combat scenarios,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Miller, VMFA-251 executive officer and native of Lapeer, Mich. “The beauty of a carrier is being able to go where our nation needs us to show foreign diplomacy or force projection.”
Appropriate vigilant posts and extra navigation details were used due to the restrictive maneuvering environment and to provide standard defensive precautions.
“It was a simple freedom of navigation and operation, not a prelude of war and service members aboard the USS Enterprise should feel a sense of pride because we did our job safely and expeditiously as military members carrying out a part of the nation’s mission,” concluded Manning, a Wind-ham, Maine, native.