The U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Boxer (LHD-4) shot down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz in a defensive action, escalating tensions in the Gulf region.
The shoot down was announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday.
According to Trump, Boxer took defensive action against the drone, which had closed into a near distance, approximately 1000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down threatening safety of ship and ship’s crew.” The president added that Iran’s drone “was immediately destroyed.”
Statement from Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman on the incident:
“At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz. A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.”
The incident came almost a month after the shot down of a U.S. Navy RQ-4N Global Hawk BAMS-D high-altitude surveillance drone by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system. Iran said the Navy drone was operating in its airspace while the US said it was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
USS Boxer, along with other elements of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations on June 23, relieving the Kearsarge ARG and 22nd MEU. The Boxer ARG/11th MEU departed from their home port, San Diego, May 1 and completed a successful transit through the U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. 7th Fleets areas of operations since their departure.
Boxer ARG is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P Murtha (LPD 26), and Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). Embarked together with the 11th MEU, commands include “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 5, and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.