Houthi officials claim to have launched a missile attack targeting the U.S. Navy’s afloat expeditionary sea base, USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3). However, U.S. officials have not yet confirmed the alleged incident.
The Houthis did not clarify whether the vessel was hit. It’s important to note that the group has made false claims about attacks in the past, including a similar claim of a missile attack on the US-flagged Ocean Jazz which the U.S. denied as “patently false.”
Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh could not confirm the alleged incident during a Monday afternoon press briefing. “I don’t have anything for you at this time,” she said in response to question about it from USNI News. U.S. officials have anonymously rejected the claim, according to media reports.
The USS Lewis B. Puller was delivered to the Navy in 2015 and was initially operated by the Military Sealift Command, the U.S. Navy’s civilian-manned sealift and ocean transport arm. The vessel was redesignated as a commissioned warship in 2017.
Measuring 784 feet, the USS Lewis B. Puller is designed to support air mine countermeasures and special warfare missions. It can also undertake additional missions, including counter-piracy, maritime security, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief.
In 2022, the USS Lewis B. Puller was harassed by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz just days after it was involved in a massive seizure of illegal weapons in the Gulf of Oman, which were being transported by Iran to the Houthis in Yemen.
Weekly Insights from the Helm
Dive into a sea of information with our meticulously curated weekly “Dispatch” email. It’s more than just a newsletter; it’s your personal maritime briefing.