MARAD advisory warns U.S.-flag ships of Iran threats

Written by Nick Blenkey
image description

Cpl. D.J. Powell, assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, stands watch aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) as the ship transits the Strait of Hormuz. Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Eduardo Jorge)

With tensions between the U.S. and Iran ratcheting up, the U.S. Maritime Administration  is warning of  growing threats to U.S.-flag ships. Yesterday, it  issued an MSCI (Maritime Security Communications with Industry) advisory to U.S.-flag ships in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, and Red Sea area.

It came the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in an escalating series of threatening actions and statements in recent weeks.”

Meantime, the U.S. Fifth Fleet continues to conduct naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Straits of Hormuz region.

Here’s the text of the MARAD advisory:

MSCI Advisory
2019-006-Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, and Red Sea-Threats to U.S. Interests from Iran

Description:

Reference: U.S. Maritime Advisory 2019-004.

Issue: Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S. forces and interests.
Since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf.

Guidance: U.S. commercial vessels operating in this area are advised to review U.S. Maritime Advisory 2019-004.

Contact Information: U.S. flag vessels are advised to report any incidents immediately to coalition naval vessels on VHF Channel 16, the 5th Fleet Battle Watch via phone at 973-1785-3879, and email details to: [email protected] U.S. flag commercial vessels bound for the Strait of Hormuz in either direction are encouraged to contact the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) Watch at least two days prior to transit at: [email protected] or 973-3904-9583.

Per 33 CFR 101.305, all suspicious activities and events must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. In this region, such activities and events should additionally be reported to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet NCAGS Watch at the email address or phone number listed above.

For any questions about this advisory, contact [email protected] Supplemental information may also be found on the MARAD Office of Maritime Security website at:

https://go.usa.gov/xUKsb.

Cancellation of Prior Advisories: This message will automatically expire on November 5, 2019.

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