Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, left, presents a medal to a sailor aboard the USS Carney. Photo courtesy of Jacob Vernier, U.S. Navy

The crew of the Bath Iron Works-built USS Carney this week was honored for thwarting recent attacks by Houthi forces in the Red Sea.

The crew on Tuesday was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, which has rarely been conferred in recent years. Cmdr. Jeremy Robertson, the ship’s commander, and an unidentified sailor were awarded Navy Commendation medals, while three crew members received Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, according to the Navy Times.

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper presented the commendations to the crew, noting their “exceptional performance,” according to the Navy. The combat ribbon is awarded to those who have participated in a “bona fide ground or surface combat firefight or action during which he/she was under fire,” while the medals are awarded for distinguished service, according to the military.

Last month, the Carney’s crew shot down 17 drones in two attacks that targeted commercial shipping vessels, military officials said. In October, the crew over a nine-hour span shot down four missiles and 15 drones that appeared to be headed toward Israel, officials said.

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper speaks to USS Carney sailors after presenting the crew with the Combat Action Ribbon. Photo courtesy of Jacob Vernier, U.S. Navy

Hamas-supporting Houthi forces, backed by Iran, in recent weeks have targeted shipping vessels, military ships and mainland Israel, officials said. The Carney and several other Bath-built destroyers have repelled multiple attacks.

The U.S. last month announced the formation of an international coalition to protect commercial vessels in the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Houthi attacks have cost companies “millions” of dollars, U.S. officials said. The U.S. has not acknowledged any direct attacks on the Houthis, a Shiite group that has a fragile truce with Yemen’s Sunni majority.


“Ongoing Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are illegal, unacceptable and profoundly destabilizing,” the coalition said in a statement Wednesday. “The Houthis will bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways.”

Houthi forces have vowed to keep up the attacks.

“The Yemeni Armed forces vowed to continue to prevent the navigation of vessels heading to Israel until enough food and medicine that our steadfast brothers are in need of in #Gaza are allowed into the Strip,” Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sare’e recently posted on X.

The USS Carney, commissioned in 1996, is named after Adm. Robert Carney.

Maine’s congressional delegation has cited the recent actions of the Carney and other destroyers in the Red Sea as among the reasons to keep investing in the ships, which are the only vessels Bath Iron Works produces.


The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney off Souda Bay, Greece. The American warship and multiple commercial ships came under attack on Dec. 3 in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war. Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge/U.S. Navy via AP

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