USS San Antonio leaves Red Sea after missile attack, enters Mediterranean
By BROCK VERGAKIS | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: October 20, 2016
NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The Norfolk-based USS San Antonio has left the Red Sea, where its commanding officer says it came under attack from missiles fired from Yemen.
The amphibious transport dock passed through the Suez Canal on its way to the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday, according to photographs posted online by Marines aboard the ship.
The Navy's Sixth Fleet confirmed the ship's movement into its area of responsibility on Thursday in response to a question from The Virginian-Pilot.
The San Antonio was transiting through the southern end of the Red Sea last week along with the Norfolk-based USS Mason when missiles were fired against them from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. Neither ship was harmed.
It was the second time the Mason had been attacked, and U.S. officials are still evaluating whether the Mason was fired on a third time on Saturday. The Defense Department has not identified who fired on the U.S. ships, but the head of U.S. Central Command said Wednesday that he suspects Iran has played a role.
In response to the attack on the Mason and San Antonio, the Norfolk-based destroyer USS Nitze launched five cruise missiles against three radar sites in Yemen that U.S. officials believe targeted the U.S. ships.
The San Antonio left Norfolk in June as part of the USS Wasp Amphibious Ready Group. The Wasp is an amphibious assault ship and aircraft assigned to it have been conducting strikes against the Islamic State group in Libya.