The United States Central Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL, has released a detailed accounting of time behind the Jan. 12 seizure of two U.S. Navy Riverine Command Boats and their crew of 10 buy Iranian forces.
There is still no public reason why the two boats ended up in Iranian waters, the sailors are still being debriefed. But an inventory of the two boats reveals that two SIM cards are missing from the boats’ satellite phones.
- On Jan. 12, 2016 at 9:23 a.m. (GMT) two NAVCENT Riverine Command Boat (RCB) crews were relocating two boats from Kuwait to Bahrain, with a planned refueling en route alongside the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy.
- At 2 p.m. (GMT) approximately the two RCBs were scheduled to refuel in international waters.
- At approximately 2:10 p.m. (GMT) NAVCENT received a report that the RCBs were being queried by Iranians.
- At approximately 2:29 p.m. (GMT) NAVCENT was advised of degraded communications.
- At 2:45 p.m. (GMT) NAVCENT was notified of a total loss of communications and an intensive search and rescue operation immediately initiated including aircraft from USS Harry S. Truman and the U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard, U.K. Royal Navy and U.S. Navy surface vessels. And attempts to reach Iranian forces made.
- At 6:15 p.m. (GMT), U.S. Navy cruiser USS Anzio received a communication from the Iranians that the RCB Sailors were in Iranian custody and were “safe and healthy.”
- Jan. 13, 2016 at 8:43 a.m. (GMT), the U.S. sailors departed Iran’s Farsi Island aboard the two RCBs and later transferred ashore by U.S. Navy aircraft from the cruiser USS Anzio and the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
- At 10:38 p.m. (GMT), the RCBs arrived in Bahrain at 10:38 p.m. with replacement crews.
The full news release detailing the timeline is available and further updates expected.
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