According to MilitaryNews.com reports: The Fifth Fleet said an investigation of the incident was underway but retired Navy Commander Chris Harmer, who served in the Fifth Fleet, said “there’s no excuse for U.S. Navy sailors to allow Iranian sailors to board their vessel.”
“The Navy has a lot to answer for here,” said Harmer, adding that the incident “showed professional incompetence at every level.” He questioned whether there was a navigation plan for the trip from Kuwait City to Bahrain, or whether the crew followed the plan.
And when one of the boats foundered — “Step one, pass a tow line” and get into friendly waters, said Harmer, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. “That’s epic incompetence right there.”
The initial reports of the incident also indicated a “failure to have sailors act in accordance with Code of Conduct if taken captive — a very bad day for us,” Harmer.
The Riverine Command Boats that were seized by Iranian military are equipped with state-of-the-art navigation systems, GPS locator systems, Communications with satellite link-ups, and multiple defensive weapons. The official report offered by the Obama Administration is that one of the boats faltered and foundered. There are no further reports as to why or how all of these systems could have broken down and both boats did not follow procedure nor call on U.S. rescue vessels at nearby ports in Bharain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to retrieve them. The distance to the area where the U.S. Navy boats were reported and Dharan, U.S. Navy base is less than 120 miles. That is not included ships already deployed on patrol capable of retrieval at high speed.
However, the reason these Riverine Command Boats travel in two’s during an exercise is in the event one may experience a break-down, the other is there to take a tow-line and haul it to safe harbor. There is no evidence that confirms the boats were off course by “three nautical miles inside Iranian territory”, nor why nautical procedures were not employed in accordance with a the rules of the sea concerning a distressed vessel, nor who alerted the Iranians to their precise position, nor why a defensive posture was not taken to prevent being taken captive and their vessels seized in the first place.
Additional question arise as to whether there was a violation of established code of conduct in the entire incident, as well as, why did a U.S. Naval Officer issue a declarative statement of apology without authorization. Unless of course, he was somehow issued an order to do so that has yet to be disclosed.
In developing news, Iran announced it has traded long time American hostages for several Iranian national’s in U.S. Custody convicted of violating U.S. law during the Iranian embargo.