By Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News
US Navy officials report the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and its battle group steamed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf Sunday without incident. It's the first US carrier to pass through the Strait since the Iranians threatened to attack the aircraft carrier Stennis three weeks ago, if it attempted to return to the Persian Gulf. Pentagon and US military officials have made it clear that Iranian threats would not deter the US Navy from operating in international waters in the Strait and the Gulf.
US military officials say the Lincoln, with its guided-missile cruiser and two guided-missile destroyers, saw no sign of the Iranian navy speed boats which occasionally harass US warships as they pass through the Strait. Those incidents have increased, and in fact become somewhat routine since Iran's radical Revolutionary Guard has taken control of Iran's naval forces in the Strait and Persian Gulf.
Navy officials say the Lincoln battle group is in the Gulf on routine and regularly-scheduled exercises.
A second battle group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is in the Northern Arabian Sea conducting flight missions over Afghanistan.
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