Despite trash-talk from Iran, the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is keeping its cool.
After practicing blockading the Strait of Hormuz, a highway for about 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, Iranian Army chief Ataollah Salehi pledged consequences if a U.S. aircraft carrier entered the Persian Golf.
“I advise, recommend and warn them over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once,” Salehi said.
Days earlier, one of his country’s aircraft captured footage of the Stennis as it operated in the Gulf. Iranian officials claimed that the footage was a sign of weakness in the carrier’s overlapping layers of security.
All of this made headlines and caused the family and friends of Stennis sailors to worry. Many of them posted their concerns on the carrier’s Facebook page.
But fear not, says Rear Adm. Craig Faller, commander of the five-ship carrier strike group. Appearing in a video message apparently shot from his office in the Stennis and later posted on Facebook and YouTube, things are safe, things are fine and there’s nothing unusual going on, he said in a video message. He looks relaxed and pretty comfortable for a guy whose ships were just threatened by a country with big-time nuclear aspirations. The only thing at all frightening about the video is that red phone in the background.
“I know we’ve been in the news lately, so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that everything is fine. We’re doing a great job out here and it’s business as usual as we continue to provide outstanding support to Operation Enduring Freedom,” he said.
It may be the first time that a CSG commander tried to quell a national concern and assure families of the safety of their loved ones with an at-sea video message.