Marines embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer recently sailed through the Strait of Hormuz with an armored vehicle strapped to the flight deck, ready to fight off drones and Iranian gunboats.

A light armored vehicle (LAV) belonging to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit can be seen on the flight deck as an AH-1Z Viper lifts off in a recently-released Marine Corps photo, NPR's Phil Ewing first noted.

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(Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

The Navy said on Tuesday that it is "reviewing" whether service members who wore uniform patches emblazoned with 'Make Aircrews Great Again' and President Donald Trump's likeness engaged in prohibited political activity, the Associated Press reports.

Several naval aircrewmen were photographed wearing the patches aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in Yokosuka, Japan on Monday during the Trump's recent four-day visit to the country.

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The USS America, (LHA 6), houses 12 F35-B Lightning II aircraft off the coast of California, November 18, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dana Beesley)

The Navy is bringing increased strike power to U.S. forces in the Pacific with a new deployment, the service said in a statement.

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In the latest show of military muscle in the South China Sea, the U.S. has apparently sailed its USS Wasp amphibious assault ship near a strategic reef claimed by Beijing and Manila that lies just 230 km (140 miles) from the Philippine coast.

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China has refused to grant a U.S. Navy warship permission to make a port call in Hong Kong, the local U.S. consulate reported Tuesday, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

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The U.S. Navy broke with its tradition of hyping up F-35 deployments by sending of the USS Essex jump-jet carrier into the Western Pacific with a deck full of the revolutionary fighter jets — and it could signal a big change in how the U.S. deals with its toughest adversaries.

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