After months spent countering a barrage of drones and missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Navy destroyer Mason has left the Middle East.

Mason transited the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea on Friday, the Navy said in a statement Monday.

The warship arrived in the Middle Eastern waters of U.S. 5th Fleet on Nov. 4, 2023, part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which remains on station there.

Since November, Mason has been one of several Navy destroyers tasked with taking out a steady stream of Houthi attacks on military and commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Go here for a list of all such publicly confirmed incidents.

“Mason and the crew demonstrated a remarkable level of operational support in the Red Sea over the past seven months and I am extremely proud of all their accomplishments,” Mason’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Justin B. Smith, said in a statement.

Whether Mason will next head home to the East Coast or conduct operations in the European waters of U.S. 6th Fleet remains unclear.

Pentagon officials have said that Navy destroyers are being used to help safeguard the Navy-Army-built Gaza relief pier, and fellow destroyer Carney spent some time on station in the Mediterranean before heading back to the states last month.

“I am eager for the next chapter of 6th Fleet operations as we continue to demonstrate our proficiency and mission support,” Smith said.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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