Navy investigation finds US sailors captured in Iran were unprepared, Iran broke the law
Weak leadership, poor judgment, a lack of "warfighting toughness" and a litany of errors led to the embarrassing capture and detention by Iran of 10 U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf in January, according to a Navy investigation released Thursday.
Six officers and three enlisted sailors have been disciplined or face disciplinary action.
The trouble began even before the sailors left port in Kuwait aboard two 50-foot boats on a short-notice, 300-mile journey to Bahrain. They were delayed, unprepared, poorly supervised and ill-suited for the mission, the report said.
At least one sailor had been up all night with boat repairs. Their higher headquarters failed to arrange air or surface monitoring of the boats' transit. Such monitoring "would likely have prevented" the sailors' capture by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, according to the report.
The Navy's top officer, Adm. John Richardson, was presenting the investigation's results at a Pentagon news conference.
The lengthy investigation concluded that while the boat crews erred in entering Iranian waters, the Iranians violated international law by impeding the boats' "innocent passage," and violated U.S. sovereign immunity by boarding and seizing the boats.
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