[Ed. – It doesn’t make sense, in terms of its wording about the geographic factors. More on that later today.]
The following preliminary timeline of the events surrounding the Iranian detainment of 10 U.S. Navy Sailors from January 12-13, 2016, is based upon multiple operational reports received by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in the first 24-48 hours after the incident. A Navy command investigation initiated on Jan. 14, will provide a more complete accounting of events.
On Jan. 12, two NAVCENT Riverine Command Boat (RCB) crews were tasked with the mission of relocating two RCBs from Kuwait to Bahrain, with a planned refueling en route alongside the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy. The two RCBs were traveling together since they train and deploy in two-boat elements. They departed Kuwait at 9:23 a.m. (GMT). The planned transit path for the mission was down the middle of the Gulf and not through the territorial waters of any country other than Kuwait and Bahrain.
The two RCBs were scheduled to conduct an underway refueling with the USCGC Monomoy in international waters at approximately 2 p.m. (GMT). At approximately 2:10 p.m. (GMT) NAVCENT received a report that the RCBs were being queried by Iranians. At approximately 2:29 p.m. (GMT) NAVCENT was advised of degraded communications with the RCBs. At 2:45 p.m. (GMT) NAVCENT was notified of a total loss of communications with the RCBs. Immediately, NAVCENT initiated an intensive search and rescue operation using both air and naval assets including aircraft from USS Harry S. Truman and the U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard, U.K. Royal Navy and U.S. Navy surface vessels.