Destroyer USS Mason shoots down drone, anti-ship missile in Red Sea

by Tommy Grant

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Mason shot down one drone and one anti-ship ballistic missile in the southern Red Sea on Thursday that officials claim were fired by Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

No damage occurred to any of the ships in the area and there were no reported injuries, U.S. Central Command said on X (formerly Twitter).

The incident marks the latest provocation in the Middle East after weeks of similar interdictions by U.S. warships, actions that have surged amid escalating regional tensions stemming from the Israel-Hamas war.

Just days before this most recent incident, the Navy destroyer Laboon and other U.S. assets shot down more than a dozen drones and missiles in the Red Sea.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his counterpart in Israel on Thursday about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas as well as threats to regional security, including the assaults in the Red Sea.

Earlier this month, Austin announced a new force to protect ships transiting the Red Sea.

Meanwhile, the Navy on Thursday said two of its other warships that recently operated in the Middle East are now on their way to the Mediterranean. The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Bataan and the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship Carter Hall transited Thursday from the Red Sea to the eastern Mediterranean, where they are expected to join the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship Mesa Verde.

The destroyer Mason is currently attached to the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower’s carrier strike group.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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