US, allies set to launch anti-mine naval exercises
They join the four Avenger-class minesweepers the U.S. has long stationed in Bahrain, the tiny Gulf island nation that hosts the Mideast-focused 5th Fleet. Britain also stations minesweepers in the Gulf.
The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis recently deployed several months ahead of schedule as part of a Pentagon plan to ensure that two carrier strike groups are constantly in the region.
Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor in Washington and Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.