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US opens fire at IRGC boats harassing guided-missile sub in Strait of Hormuz

US Navy submarine operations in Persian Gulf
USS Georgia entering the Persian Gulf in December 2020. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy was forced to fire warning shots at Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats that harassed a US Navy guided-missile submarine as it was transiting the Strait of Hormuz on May 10.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said 13 Iranian fast boats conducted “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuvers in the vicinity of a group of US Navy vessels escorting the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia.

This is the second time in two weeks that the US Navy has fired warning shots at IRGC boats in the Persian Gulf. On April 28, IRGCN armed speed boats rapidly approached US Navy patrol coastal ship USS Firebolt (PC 10) and US Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) to an unnecessarily close range with unknown intent, including a closest point of approach (CPA) of 68 yards to both US ships.

Commenting the encounter on May 10, Kirby said the Iranian boats “were acting very aggressively,” adding they got within 150 yards of the US ships. The group of US Navy ships also included the cruiser USS Monterey, which intercepted a large arms shipment from a stateless dhow in the Arabian Sea on May 9.

The press secretary said that US Coast Guard boat USCGC Maui was the one to fire a total of 30 warning shots at the Iranian boats.

US Navy photo of IRGCN vessels conducting unsafe maneuvers near US naval vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz, May 10.

The incident involving USS Georgia comes after the submarine entered the Persian Gulf in December 2020. This was the first time in eight years that the navy had disclosed the operation of an Ohio-class submarine in the Persian Gulf. The last such confirmed operation was carried out by USS Florida in 2012.

Following the Pentagon press secretary briefing, Fox News reported that the guided-missile submarine was entering the Persian Gulf at the time of the incident.