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Analyzing the US Navy’s Strategic Response in the Red Sea

Analyzing the US Navy’s Strategic Response in the Red Sea

Modern Military | Future Arms & Current News

The United States Navy, alongside its allies, has been actively engaged in countering threats to global shipping in the Red Sea, particularly those posed by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. This operation, which has also seen significant contributions from the US’s nuclear-powered carriers, highlights the strategic importance of naval power in contemporary global conflicts. A critical aspect of this response has been the role of amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) and its supporting elements, exemplifying the utility of diverse naval platforms and the flexibility of maritime forces.

PHIBRON 8 and USS Bataan’s Pivotal Role

USS Carter Hall approaches USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) for an underway replenishment in the Indian Ocean (7 October 2007).

Dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) approaches Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) for an underway replenishment. Porter is conducting maritime operations in the 5th Fleet area of operations with Kearsarge Strike Group.

PHIBRON 8, with the USS Bataan at the forefront, has been operating in the Mediterranean for the past several months.

Since July, the Bataan, along with USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), has been deployed with approximately 2,000 Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and other units. This deployment underscores the evolving nature of naval warfare, where traditional and modern tactics intersect.

Adapting to Air Combat Challenges

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Carter Hall participating in the recovery of the Chinese surveillance balloon

The crew of the USS Bataan found themselves adapting to air combat to counteract the Houthi threats in the Red Sea. As reported by CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata, the Bataan’s air wing, equipped with Harriers from Marine Attack Squadron 231 (VMA-231), has been actively involved in intercepting Houthi drones and missiles.

US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier

US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier

Moreover, this shift to air defense operations represents a significant adaptation by the US Navy to the evolving nature of asymmetrical threats.

Tactical Innovations and Risks

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Mark VI patrol boat docking with Bataan. us navy – https://www.militarynews.com/norfolk-navy-flagship/news/top_stories/bataan-trains-with-new-mark-vi-patrol-

The tactical response involved modifying Harrier jets for air defense, equipping them with missiles to intercept Houthi drones. Lead pilot Capt Earl Ehrhart, an experienced fighter pilot, has noted the interception of seven Houthi drones, highlighting the risks and demands of such operations. Flying close to explosive devices, the crew has had to stay exceptionally focused, underscoring the high stakes of these missions.

Operational Extension and Naval Capacity

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. Emblem of the USS Bataan LHD-5

A notable aspect of this deployment is its extension beyond the expected six months, reflecting the ongoing demands on the US Navy in a region of strategic importance. This extension raises questions about the size and capacity of the US Navy to meet the nation’s diverse and expanding naval requirements.

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USMC M327 mortar air lifted onto Bataan‘s deck by MH-60S Seahawk.

The USS Bataan’s deployment in the Red Sea region is more than a military operation; it is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of the US Navy in the face of unconventional threats. The successful adaptation to new forms of warfare, the effective use of diverse naval platforms, and the dedication of the crew serve as a reminder of the strategic importance of naval power.

Lastly, as the world navigates through complex maritime security challenges, the lessons from the USS Bataan and her crew offer valuable insights into modern naval warfare and strategic planning.

he amphibious assault ship Bataan conducts training operations in the Atlantic Ocean in preparation for an upcoming maiden deployment.

Analyzing the US Navy’s Strategic Response in the Red Sea