I am going to give somewhat of an opinion here on the recent run in with the US Navy and Iran. I spent 6 years riding a Naval vessel, my primary job was navigation. We were known as Quartermasters, we worked for the Navigator (a position held by an officer on the boat) and had responsibility daily while on watch to the safe navigation of the ship as well as keeping the ships deck log among other duties. Our routing for a particular voyage would come from the squadron (whom our captain worked for and ultimately all of us). Our routing would contain way points with position and time for us to hit during the voyage, what was known as MXA which was a certain distance ahead, behind or either side of a track (this was for submarine routing purposes). We could be anywhere inside of our MXA box as we wanted, we typically liked to stay toward the front of the box.
I would assume it would be the same for a surface vessel particularly in questionable waters. I have to believe the routing came from command authority, I also believe due to standard operating procedures, fuel levels, maintenance etc was taken care of by the boat crew and signed off from someone of authority at the squadron level. There were two boats involved, running out of fuel or a breakdown is unacceptable in this situation. Even if one had an issue the other could easily enough thrown a line on her and towed her to safety. This situation I believe is much more sinister than what we are led to believe. We will not hear the truth ultimately but that is how the military operates. Someone on board either lost situational awareness or plain was inept at command. The other option would have been the boats were overcome by a superior force and we had our nose bloodied. I hope this is not the case.