Sailors aboard an Iranian Navy patrol boat decided it would be a good idea to shine a laser at the cockpit of a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that was on a flight at night over the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, according to the Associated Press. Given that pilots flying in the dark use night vision goggles, hitting a helo with a laser can screw with the optics, which is dangerous no matter how much of a hotshot pilot you think you are.
It didn’t stop there. The Iranian vessel came within 800 yards of an amphibious assault ship, the USS Bataan, sweeping with a spot light from bow to stern, before turning it’s light on the USS Cole, a guided missile destroyer, according to AP.
But given the chances for a miscalculation, in the air or at sea, it seems downright childish to go around buzzing warships, trailing aircraft, and yes, dicking around by pointing lasers at helicopters in international waters, even if things don’t escalate to warning shots like they did for a few days in the Persian Gulf in August 2016.
Then again, ship life can be kind of rough if you don’t have anything to do, which makes laser-pointer hijinks an understandable pastime for Iran’s sailors. I guess it’s why some service members have even take to hiding in the engine room of a missile cruiser for a week straight.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), foreground, leads a formation of Carrier Strike Group Five ships for a photo exercise during Valiant Shield 2018 in the Philippine Sea Sept. 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Miciano)
The U.S. Navy is considering developing robotic warships. Cheaper to build than today ship's and expendable, the unmanned vessels could help the Navy quickly to grow — and could allow the fleet to develop new tactics for battling a high-tech foe.
Hoping to push for clean-up and to hold polluters accountable, members of Congress created a task force Wednesday to help constituents nationwide who have contended with drinking water contaminated by chemicals used on military bases.
U.S. Marine Corps recruits with Platoon 4030, Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, perform rifle manual marching movements during an initial drill evaluation June 25, 2018, on Parris Island, S.C. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Dana Beesley)