“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) interacted in an unsafe and unprofessional manner with a U.S. AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter, assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), as the aircraft was conducting routine operations in the international airspace of the Arabian Gulf, Sept. 27. The interaction took place at approximately 7:30 p.m. local time. The aircraft is attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced), deployed aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), on a scheduled deployment to the Middle East Region.

“IRGCN vessels shone a laser multiple times at the aircraft while in flight. Fortunately, no injuries were reported and the aircraft was not damaged.

“These are not the actions of a professional maritime force. This unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible behavior by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy risks U.S. and partner nation lives and needs to cease immediately.

“U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting regional maritime security.”

US Navy file photo