New details about how the 10 U.S. sailors were released today from Iranian custody have started to emerge.
They departed Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf just before noon local time aboard the two riverine boats they’d been operating when detained Tuesday.
The ships were accompanied by some Iranian escort craft but they left Farsi Island "under their own power,” according to Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
From there, the two boats headed toward the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Anzio, which was in international waters just outside Iranian territorial waters off Farsi Island.
When the two U.S. craft neared the Anzio, the Iranian craft turned around and returned to the island.
What Happened After the Iranians Left
The sailors were then transferred by U.S. Navy personnel while other sailors took charge of the craft to continue the transit to Bahrain.
The 10 sailors were taken aboard the cruiser where they were given an initial medical evaluation and were then flown to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.
There were more tests and additional assessments on the carrier before the sailors were taken ashore, Stephens told ABC News.
Where Are the Sailors Headed Now
The two boats were based in Kuwait and on their way to regular vessel maintenance.
The 10 sailors, who are from a San Diego-based riverine unit, have now been transferred to Qatar, where they will go through the reintegration program.
"The first concern was recovering the sailors, the second is ensuring they get the best care they can get and successfully reintegrate into the force, and third is understanding the circumstances of the incident," Stephens said.
What Does the Reintegration Process Entail
The reintegration process was created by the military after the lessons learned when prisoners of war returned home following the Vietnam War.
It is during the reintegration period when the sailors will be debriefed, counseled and receive therapy if they need it.
The process is broken into three phases, with the first focusing on recovery, the second comprising of a 72-hour decompression period with debriefings, and the third phase involving their transfer home and their reunions with family members.
The timing on the sailors’ reintegration process is not set.
A recent example of this reintegration process was the case of Bowe Bergdahl, who was released from being held by a Taliban-aligned group in 2014 after nearly five years in captivity.
How Has This Incident Played Politically
News that the sailors had been taken into custody broke shortly before the State of the Union speech Tuesday night but President Obama did not mention the incident.
Secretary of State John Kerry praised Iranian authorities for "their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter."
"That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong," Kerry said in a statement.