Arabian Gulf - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) escorted the Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet replenishment ship Fort Rosalie (A385) through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, Thursday.

The ships transited the strait from the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

"The Bab el-Mandeb Straight is a significant trade route and our presence here helps promote the free flow of commerce in the region," said Cmdr. Ryan Billington, commanding officer aboard Howard. "This transit helps show our continued commitment to regional and partner nations here."

Howard and America are deployed in the 5th Fleet area of operations conducting maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, preserving freedom of navigation and maintaining the free flow of commerce. Howard is part of Carrier Strike Group 11 along with Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS Kidd (DDG 100) and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and USS Princeton (CG 59).