Ten U.S. Navy sailors detained and freed by Iran earlier this month arrived safely in San Diego to reunite with their families, the U.S. Navy announced.
"All of the Sailors are in good health and each will complete the final phase of reintegration," the U.S. Navy said in a statement Saturday. "During this phase, which can last several days, Sailors reunite with their families, continue debriefings, and receive any ongoing medical care and support as necessary."
Members of Riverine Squadron 1 based in San Diego were deployed to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain when their two small vessels drifted into Iranian waters after experiencing mechanical problems during a training mission, NBC News reported.
Now that they have returned to their homeport, the sailors will begin a three part reintegration progress, part one of which began once they were released. During the second phase, the sailors completed a medical exam and critical decompression, including mental and physical coping strategies. The third phase starts when they reunite with their families and continue to receive medical evaluations and various levels of support.
The sailors were held overnight from Jan. 12 to 13 on Iran's Farsi Island. Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said in a statement read on state TV that the sailors were released back into international waters after the U.S. issued an apology and clarified that any incursion was "a mistake," NBC News reported.
"Our Sailors are being reintegrated with dignity and professionalism," said Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, Commander Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in a statement. "My top priority is the health, welfare and well-being of our Shipmates as they return to duty."
A Navy command investigation, launched Jan. 14, is ongoing.