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Iranian UAV Creates Safety-of-Flight Risk to IKE Carrier Strike Group in Arabian Gulf

Statement from the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper:

“Today, Iranian unmanned aircraft took unsafe and unprofessional actions near USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE) during the course of routine flight operations in international waters, Nov. 28.

“The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG) was conducting routine flight operations in the international waters of the Central Arabian Gulf when it detected an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV was visually identified as Iranian. Its closest point of approach to IKE was approximately 1,500 yards. Multiple hails and warnings were ignored by Iran.

“This Iranian action violated safety precautions outlined in a daily Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). The NOTAM directed manned and unmanned aircraft to remain greater than 10 nautical miles from the aircraft carrier in order to ensure safety of flight of military and civilian aviation.

“No injuries were reported and no aircraft was damaged.

“This unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible behavior by Iran risks U.S. and partner nation lives and needs to cease immediately.

“U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting regional maritime security.”