25 Nations Practice War Against Iran
Naval armada plays 'war game' in Persian Gulf
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2012 2:21 PM CDT
Military Sealift Command civilian mariners aboard the USS Ponce observe mine countermeasure ships heading for the largest naval exercises ever in the Middle East.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy ,Toni Burton)
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(Newser) – A whole lot of firepower is headed to the Persian Gulf today as Israel and Iran pound their war drums and Benjamin Netanyahu urges Washington not to let Tehran score a nuclear "touchdown." The US, Britain, France, and 22 other countries are sending a naval armada to the Strait of Hormuz for a 12-day "war games" exercise to practice tactics in case of war with Iran, the Telegraph reports. The force includes three of the four active US aircraft carriers and at least a thousand US Marines and special forces, reports RT.

Backing up the carriers are 12 or more vessels, including frigates, destroyers, ballistic missile cruisers, and assault ships. During the annual exercise—the biggest one to date—naval forces will practice counter-mining drills and ways of breaching an Iranian blockade should Tehran try to stop the flow of oil tankers through the strait. Iran plans to stage its own massive military exercise next month to warn the US and Israel against a strike on its nuclear facilities. (Read about a missile Iran tested that's capable of hitting Israel and US regional bases.)