US wants to create an international military coalition, says its military official
Marine General Joseph Dunford said he wanted to ensure freedom of navigation in the region, which provides essential trade routes.
Earlier, US had blamed Iranian-backed fighters for attacks on two tankers.
General Dunford said the US was in talks with a number of countries who had the political will to support the plans.
“The US would provide command and control ships”, he said adding that the aim would be for other countries to offer boats to establish patrol between those ships.
Gen Dunford said the US would "work directly with the militaries to identify the specific capabilities" each country has to support the initiative.
The Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab are essential strategic marine locations, providing access from the ocean into the Gulf and the Red Sea.
The general said the size of the initiative depended on the number of countries which decided to take part.
"With a small number of contributors, we can have a small mission," he said. "We'll expand that as the number of nations that are willing to participate identify themselves."
It is reported that everyday nearly four million barrels of oil pass through the Bab-al Mandab to the rest of the world.