Mayport-based USS Mason among ships fending off attacks from Houthi rebels in Red Sea

Rebels from Yemen overnight launched a barrage of missiles and drones toward passing ships in the Red Sea, and a Mayport-based guided-missile destroyer, the USS Mason, helped fend off the attacks.

This is the biggest attack on the Red Sea since the Israel-Hamas war began.

Over the past month, the Mayport-based ships USS Carney and Thomas Hudner have also been involved in fending off other attacks, with local sailors on board.

FA-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower also shot down drones and missiles, and a British ship also helped.

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Houthi rebels have landed on a handful of commercial ships. But their main method has been missile and rocket attacks on vessels believed to be heading to and from Israel.

“When we see something like the aggression coming from the Houthis that continues to be repeated, directed at shipping in the Red Sea,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

During his latest trip to the Middle East, Blinken talked about the recent attacks.

These attacks have been aided and abetted by Iran with technology equipment and intelligence information, and they are having a real-life impact on people.

“Well, at some point, we’ve got to draw a line and say, ‘Stop shooting at us,’” Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Natter said.

Natter, who commanded the US Atlantic Fleet, said American servicemembers are definitely in the danger zone, with Mayport’s USS Mason involved in the most recent aggression.

“It’s pretty advanced warfare, actually. And the good news is our Defense Department are ultimately our taxpayers if you continue to invest in technology for us, so we’re able to stay ahead of the threat,” Natter said.

The Pentagon said the recent attacks included drones dropping bombs.

“If we had good intelligence of where all their systems are hidden, and where they’re moving around, because they’re not stationary systems are easily mobile, then that’s one thing and that we could be successful there. But we also need to be able to detect them, then we need to be able to destroy them. That’s a hard hard equation there. So, I don’t think there’s anything that’s foolproof in any of this. But at some point, we’ve got to respond, or else we’re just going to continue to be a dartboard,” Natter said.

MORE | US Navy helicopters fire at Yemen’s Houthi rebels and kill several in latest Red Sea shipping attack

Just last week, hundreds of local sailors returned home to their families after fighting off Red Sea rebels. But hundreds more remain in the line of fire.

“I think we can be very proud of the professionalism and the competency of all our people. And just pray that they remain safe,” Natter said.

No Americans were hurt in the latest attacks.

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