103/13 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS

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ATTENTION INVITED TO  
ROUTINE
R 172252Z APR 13 PSN 117437K23
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
ZEN/OU=DOD/OU=NAVY/OU=ADDRESS LISTS(UC)/CN=AL NAVADMIN(UC)
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SUBJ: 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS UNCLASSIFIED/ PASS TO ALL 
OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//
TO NAVADMIN
UNCLAS
NAVADMIN 103/13

MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/DNS/APR//

SUBJ/25TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS//



RMKS/1. 18 APRIL 2013 MARKS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS 
WHICH ACCELERATED END OF THE TANKER WAR IN THE PERSIAN GULF.

2. ON 14 APRIL 1988, WATCHSTANDERS ABOARD USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG 58) 
SIGHTED THREE FLOATING MINES. TWENTY MINUTES AFTER THE SIGHTING, AS SAMUEL B. 
ROBERTS WAS BACKING CLEAR OF THE MINEFIELD, SHE STRUCK A SUBMERGED MINE THAT 
TORE A 21-FOOT HOLE IN THE HULL AND WOUNDED TEN SAILORS. ONLY THE HEROIC 
EFFORTS OF THE SHIP'S CREW SAVED THE VESSEL FROM SINKING. FOUR DAYS LATER ON 
18 APRIL 1988, JOINT TASK FORCE MIDDLE EAST RESPONDED WITH OPERATION PRAYING 
MANTIS; A JOINT ATTACK AGAINST TWO OIL PLATFORMS BEING USED BY IRAN TO 
COORDINATE ATTACKS ON MERCHANT SHIPPING. DURING THIS OPERATION, COALITION AIR 
AND SURFACE FORCES DESTROYED THE OIL RIGS ALONG WITH VARIOUS IRANIAN VESSELS 
THAT STAGED A COUNTER-ATTACK. BY THE END OF THE BATTLE, U.S. AIR AND SURFACE 
FORCES HAD SUNK, OR SEVERELY DAMAGED, HALF OF IRAN'S OPERATIONAL FLEET, 
INCLUDING TWO FRIGATES AND A 147-FOOT MISSILE PATROL BOAT.

3. OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS WAS A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN NAVAL HISTORY AS IT 
MARKED THE FIRST AND ONLY MAJOR SURFACE ACTION SINCE WORLD WAR II AND 
DEMONSTRATED THE COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JOINT TASK FORCE MIDDLE EAST.

4. FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION REGARDING OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS, PLEASE 
VISIT HTTP://WWW.HISTORY.NAVY.MIL/.

5. RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL R. W. HUNT, DIRECTOR, NAVY STAFF.//

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