Galrhan at Information Dissemination has the details of a worrisome move in the midst of escalating tensions in the Gulf.
Today, mentioned in passing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee – without a word or question on the topic from any supposedly well informed Senators – Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert told the Senate committee that the US Navy is going to deploy 4 minesweepers to the Persian Gulf (which will double the number of US Navy Minesweepers in the Persian Gulf) and also send additional mine hunting helicopters to the region. This comes following news earlier this year that the US Navy is working on the USS Ponce to deploy to the Persian Gulf to be a full time Mine Warfare Command Ship.
In other words, the Chief of Naval Operations announced to the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning specific details about preparations for war with Iran, and in response the Senators drooled on themselves in silent capitulation. The only thing missing from that scene from this mornings Twilight Zone moment in the Senate was the CNO knocking on the microphone asking “is this thing on” for dramatic effect.
When the CNO tells Senators in a public hearing that the Navy is deploying four little 1300 ton minesweepers to the other side of the world, in any context that can be described as the US Navy preparing for war with Iran. Deploying minesweepers to the Persian Gulf isn’t like a typical 6 month deployment of a Navy warship, because some big commercial vessel will almost certainly be chartered to carry the ships across the ocean. This is a big deal.
This is also what a naval buildup for war against Iran looks like.
Admiral Greenert actually calls it a way of “setting the theater” to better counter the threat posed by Iran. Given that the WSJ reports today that there are 42 US Navy vessels already in the Gulf and the Enterprise carrier group is on its way, while the Sixth Fleet is off the Syrian coast, that’s a lot of setting.