Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Currently Iran's best pals in the oil industry as no-one else will invest or work there. I may have my paranoid hat on again, but I'd be worried about the Chinese ability to disable the pipeline through back doors in the control gear ABB provided the electricals, but I'll bet the Chinese had plenty of opportunity to hijack the system
PS - don't forget the Chinese have made threats to come to Iran's aid in the event of an attack
Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 15th Jul 2012 at 22:43.
They wouldn't have to do it overtly though Assuming Iran feels its time to create the blockade, the Chinese - at least for a short time - would need to back them if only to preserve their investments and relationships there. Blocking the pipeline by crashing the control gear would be a relatively anonymous way of helping their pals You'd only need something akin to Stuxnet, possibly embedded into the firmware of the electronics
I read it as a scaled series of warnings including warning shots before they opened fire directly at the boat. I stand to be corrected but some media articles have different levels of detail. US media states warning shots were fired.
Either way, not a good situation for either the US or others.
In this instance, the USNS Rappahannock doesn't look like a "normal" warship and apart from being painted light grey and having 204 on it's bow, it could easily be mistaken for an oil drilling support ship.
I hope there aren't any anchored at Portland for the next few weeks
Every year we have a US support ship anchor in Torbay for weeks and sometimes a month or two and 24/7 it has a security boat going round and round trying to keep small craft away!!!
It really appeals to my sense of humour as the boat's crew NEVER gives up with this task, but every day there are DOZENS of small holiday craft all going out to see this ship and seeing how close they can get.
We know why the security is there and we know why they continually circle this military vessel, but they are wasting thousands of dollars chartering that security craft as it is no easier than trying to hold back the tide, but just like King Canute the holiday makers in their boats keep coming, and the security boat keeps trying to warn them off. Perhaps one year they might realise that Torbay is a holiday resort with lots of folks playing with boats.. Yes someone might be a terrorist and yes someone might attack that ship but terrorism is also about putting fear into the mind of the innocents and just look at what is happening in the UK regarding the Olympics!!
How much is being spent, how much of our military is being sucked into this small island that is more like a fortress. We probably have FAR more military cover here in the UK than we do in the area of the Strait? We talk about Ocean being in London but are we forgetting the Bulwark being deployed off the coast if Weymouth!!
Do we seriously believe this amount of security can stop a loony tune or indeed the terror attack in the strait.
USNS Rappahannock Fires After Vessel Ignores Warnings
By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs
U.S. FIFTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS – An embarked security team aboard a U.S. Navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship near Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates today.
In accordance with Navy force protection procedures, the sailors on the USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force.
The U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun.
The incident is under investigation.
NAVCENT Maritime Security Operation Fifth Fleet Navy
Grifo, it is sometimes a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" problem, with USS Cole incident as the spectre haunting the back of any US Captain in that region. At some point, if the warnings aren't heeded, your RoE set up a decision matrix that amounts to "shoot, since the taxpayers don't want you bringing back a broken ship and dead sailors."
That is how it works out, from the inside, regardless of how you choose to see it from the outside. There is duty of care to one's nation invovled here. The Pols know this and send ships into that situation anyway.
I think that Lonewolf has hit the nail on the head. The US taxpayer doesn't want a broken ship and dead sailors; if, in order to comply with the demand of the US tax payers, some non-US citizens get killed *shrugs*. That's life.
El Grifo: Iran has considerable form for using lethal force against US warships and merchant ships, even in supposed 'peacetime'. Given the recent publicity it has given to its capability for swarm attacks and its avowed intent to drive western powers from the Gulf, I leave you to assess a Commanding Officer's likely attitude towards small craft showing potentially hostile intent in the area.
I can assure you from experience that when a go-fast approaches your ship on a steady bearing at a closing speed of 60-70 mph after ignoring warnings by radio, loud hailer, flags, signal projector (BIG flashing searchlight) and ear-splitting siren, the difference between warning shots and shots on target becomes moot extremely quickly. With only a .50 cal machine gun available (as in the case of USNS Rappahannock) there is little difference between the range (or time) at which 'warning shots' can be aimed sufficiently accurately to be effective and the range at which shots need to act as 'physical stoppers'. Concern for the safety of the ship and people for whom you have been given responsibility is suddenly concentrated above all else.
If you have the luxury of a helicopter riding shotgun further away from the ship, then things might be different but not necessarily so, especially at night when it becomes even more difficult to distinguish friend (or neutral) from potentially deadly foe.
As ever, we will have to wait for the results of the investigation to know what really happened. However, there will always be those who find it so much easier to make judgements from the comfort of their keyboard at home, especially when blessed with hindsight.