"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."
"We observed one UAS crash into the water but did not observe a 'splash' for the other," Brown continued. "The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests and calls upon all nations to condemn any attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce."
Tensions between the United States and Iran have been rising for months. In June, Iran shot down a Navy Global Hawk drone over the Strait of Hormuz and Houthi proxies destroyed an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper with Iranian assistance, according to CENTCOM.
"We are confident we brought down one drone, we may have brought down a second," McKenzie said in an interview aboard the Boxer.
It is not clear why McKenzie waited until Tuesday to reveal a second drone might also have been knocked out of the sky.
Although defense officials are not saying how the Iranian drones were splashed, Military.com reporter Gina Harkins has already revealed that a Marine Corps counter-drone system took down at least one of the drones.
The Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System sits atop all-terrain vehicles and it can jam the radio frequencies used by unmanned aerial systems.
Roughly 4,500 Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are currently embarked on the Boxer, the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha and the landing ship dock USS Harpers Ferry.
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.