A search and rescue operation is underway for a US Navy sailor who fell overboard from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. A Spanish and Pakistani ship are assisting the search.
The sailor, whose name is being withheld in accordance with navy policy, was reported overboard on Wednesday. Search parties from the Lincoln and the cruiser USS Leyte Gulf are looking for the missing man, assisted by the Spanish frigate Mendez Nunez and the Pakistani frigate Aslat.
The news comes amid reports that amphibious assault ship USS Boxer entered the Persian Gulf and shot down an Iranian drone.
The Lincoln and her accompanying ships were deployed to the region in May, amid rising tensions between the US and Iran. The task force has been conducting “simulated strike operations” in preparations for a possible US attack on Iran.
As part of the drills, the Lincoln’s air wing conducted joint operations with the US Air Force’s B-52 strategic bombers, which the air wing commander described as “an incredible demonstration of how our military can rapidly join capabilities to enhance our lethality.”
After Iran shot down a US spy drone over the Straits of Hormuz in late June, the US almost launched a strike in retaliation. US President Donald Trump said he called it off due to concerns about possible Iranian casualties, however.
The Trump administration has imposed extensive economic sanctions against Iran after unilaterally exiting the international nuclear deal in May 2018. Tehran has denounced the embargo as aggression.
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