Iran just targeted a US Marine helicopter with a laser

A Marine helicopter was illuminated by a laser fired from an Iranian vessel in the Strait of Hormuz June 14. The incident occured days after a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle shot down a drone over Syria that was later determined to be from Iran.

According to a report by FoxNews.com, the incident was viewed as “unsafe and unprofessional” by the United States.

A “fast attack craft” used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

“Illuminating helicopters with lasers at night is dangerous as it creates a navigational hazard that can impair vision and can be disorienting to pilots using night vision goggles,” Commander Bill Urban, a 5th Fleet spokesperson said.

USNI News reported that the Iranian vessel was a missile boat, and approached the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) and the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) on the night of June 13.

According to the report, the Iranian missile boat shined a spotlight on the Cole, then painted a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter with a laser, before running a spotlight on the Bataan. The Iranian missile boat came within 800 yards of the U.S. Navy vessels.

More than 100 midshipmen man the rails for a photo on the foícísle of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) during the 2016 Professional Training for Midshipmen (PROTRAMID) Surface week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan Seelbach)

According to MilitaryFactory.com, the CH-53E is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter capable of carrying up to 55 troops. It has a top speed of 195 miles per hour and a range of up to 1,140 miles. It is capable of being refueled in midair by tankers like the KC-130. For self-defense it carries chaff and flare dispensers to defeat enemy missiles, and it has three ,50-caliber machine guns.

This incident follows a series of other incidents between American and Iranian vessels. Last month, the destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) was forced to fire flares to warn off an Iranian boat. In January, the destroyer was forced to fire warning shots at other Iranian vessels. Other incidents involved the repeated harassment of the missile-tracking ship USNS Invincible (T AGM 24) and the pointing of a machine gun at a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter.

TOP ARTICLES
This is how Japan plans to hunt enemy subs

Japan decided to build a custom maritime patrol plane instead of converting and airliner - and the P-1 could blow away the competition.

This company owns a private fleet of aerial refueling tankers

Omega Air Refueling claims to be the only private air refueling service in the world.

VA chief fires head of department hospital in DC — again

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it's fired Brian Hawkins -- once again -- citing audits that found mismanagement at the facility.

This Special Forces medic's bravery in Vietnam has earned him the Medal of Honor

President Trump will award the Medal of Honor to retired Army medic Gary M. Rose who risked his life to provide care to his comrades in the Vietnam War.

These American WWII vets were awarded France's highest honor

Ten California men who fought overseas with the US forces have been awarded the French government's highest honor for their World War II service.

5 more epic military movie mistakes you have missed

With so many important aspects to pay attention to, filmmakers commonly make mistakes. Luckily we've brought our government-provided attention to detail!

The Air Force is getting ready to deploy this fearsome new gunship

The USAF plans to declare its newest gunship, the AC-130J Ghostrider, ready for combat this month, but the aircraft won’t actually deploy for a few years.

Turkey raises alarm with purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile system

Turkey finalized its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system earlier this month, which can be used against NATO and US planes.

This is what the Afghans think of America's new war plan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the new US strategy in Afghanistan stands a better chance of working than previous plans.

Could the answer to Army marksmanship woes be found in the Corps?

The US Army has a marksmanship problem. Here are some thoughts the Army might want to take to heart when considering how to improve shooting skills.

THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY

We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles

COMPLETE SURVEY TO WIN