Four San Diego-Based Ships Headed to Waters Near Iran

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U.S. Navy

USS Pioneer

Four San Diego-based minesweepers are headed to the waters near Iran, in the wake of tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.

An anonymous U.S. Navy official tells CNN that the USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), and USS Warrior (MCM 10) will leave the U.S. in late April after being loaded onto cargo ships.

Iran has threatened in recent months to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, according to CNN:

The United States has long believed that if Iran tried to shut the strait down it would begin by seeding the waters with mines, which would keep both commercial and military shipping from operating. The Navy is increasingly concerned about Iran's use of undersea mines, which may be tethered to the sea floor and are difficult to detect.

The minesweepers have the capability to detect the mines, then neutralize them.