Thursday, May 24, 2007
The US Navy has been making a show of force off the coast of Iran. Two aircraft carriers and landing ships packed with 17-thousand Marines and sailors are taking part in the unannounced Persian Gulf exercises. The Navy says nine warships passed through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Merchant ships passing through the strait carry 40 percent of the world's oil exports.The Navy says carrier strike groups led by the U.S.S. John C. Stennis and the U.S.S. Nimitz are participating, along with the a strike group led by an amphibious assault ship. Planned maneuvers include air training, submarine, mine and other exercises. The maneuvers come just two months after the last exercise. Before the latest arrivals, the Navy maintained around 20-thousand personnel at sea in the Gulf and neighboring waters.