US Military Holds Live-Fire Drills in Persian Gulf

Training ordered amid threats of action against ships

Following recent US warnings of confrontation in the Persian Gulf, the US is now holding live-fire training operations in the area, involving helicopter gunships and amphibious groups. Officials touted it as a chance to demonstrate the “awesome firepower” of US weapons.

This comes following President Trump’s talk of shooting down Iranian ships that get too close, and a more recent Navy admonishment that they’d consider any boat that gets close an act of aggression. There have been no serious incidents in weeks, despite the US comments.

The US statements appeared to anticipate a confrontation, and this live-fire might either be another round of US hostility in the region. That said, the exercise seems to be garnering limited attention, and is seen as more of the same from the US.

The big result of such exercises is often the deployment of more US ships and arms into a region for such exercises, and in the Persian Gulf, such deployments have a nasty way of becoming permanent.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.