Over 3,000 sailors and marines have arrived this week in the Middle East, as part of a pre-announced department of defense deployment.

The additional forces arrived aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 50) and dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), after a spate of vessel seizures by Iranian forces in the Middle East.

The ships entered the Red Sea after transiting from the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal.

More than 3,000 U.S. sailors and marines of the Bataan amphibious ready group (ARG) and 26th marine expeditionary unit (MEU) arrived in the Middle East on August 6, to bring to the region additional aviation and naval assets.

An amphibious assault ship can carry more than two dozen rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft, including MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and AV-8B Harrier attack jets, in addition to several amphibious landing craft. A dock landing ship also supports operations for various rotary-wing aircraft, tactical vehicles and amphibious landing craft.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses approximately 2.5 million square miles of water space and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Strait of Bab al-Mandeb.

The deployment comes as the U.S. military is readying plans to embark armed personnel on commercial ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, after a spate of vessel seizures by Iranian forces in the Middle East.

The effort, first reported by the Associated Press, if officially approved and confirmed by the US government is among a set of multiple actions being pursued by the Biden administration following a purported rise in attempts by Iran to seize commercial tanker ships.

No official announcements have been made until now by the US government and Pentagon but if this is approved, this move is described as extremely complex as it will need the approval of the country under which the ship is flagged, and the country under which the owner is registered.