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RED SEA (March 5, 2024) A shooter signals the launch of an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the "Fighting Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 from the flight deck during flight operations aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Red Sea, March 5, 2024. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to support maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. (U.S. Navy photo)

Red Sea. (March 5, 2024): For the Sailors and Marines of the Eisenhour Aircraft Carrier Strike Group, the past four months have been spent at sea defending against ballistic missiles and flying attack drones fired by Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen. In this photo by AE3 Lauren Duval, a “shooter” signals the launch of an F/A-18 Super Hornet from the famous “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron 32 from the flight deck. The Strike Group has been on patrol in the Middle East since November with some of its ships having been on location since October.

As of Wednesday, the strike group — which includes the cruiser USS Philippine Sea, the destroyers USS Mason, Gravely, and Laboon conducted more than 95 intercepts of drones, anti-ship ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and made more than 240 self-defense strikes on more than 50 Houthi targets in Yemen.

The latest threat is fast unmanned vessels that are fired through the water and are remote controlled by the enemy. These unmanned bombs are difficult to detect and defeat, especially at night.

The U.S. Central Command also reports that the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Clarence Sutphin Jr. boarded a vessel in the Arabian Sea that was bound for Yemen and seized medium-range ballistic missile parts, explosives, and military-grade communications equipment.

For the foreseeable future, these troops will be in a “fighting stance” until the threats to peaceful shipping by the Iranian-back Houthis comes to an end.