Friday, May 15

US Navy Catches 17 Pirates (Video)

Today comes news of the US Navy catching 17 more pirates off Somalia:
Turkish-Led CTF 151 Makes First Suspected Pirate Capture

From Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

USS GETTYSBURG, At Sea – Ships from Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 prevented a piracy attack in the Gulf of Aden, which resulted in the apprehension of more than a dozen suspected pirates aboard an alleged “mothership” yesterday.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., the Republic of Korea Destroyer, ROKS Munmu the Great (DDG 976) and guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) responded to a distress call from the Egyptian-flagged Motor Vessel Amira, which reported being attacked approximately 75 nautical miles south of Al Mukalla, Yemen.

Several assault rifle rounds and one rocket propelled grenade round struck M/V Amira resulting in little to no damage to the ship. A rope was thrown from the skiff in an attempt to board but the attempt failed and the suspected pirates abandoned their attack.

Gettysburg and Munmu the Great launched their embarked helicopters which flew immediately to Amira’s location. During its flight, the SH-60B helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 located a dhow suspected of serving as a pirate “mothership” with approximately 17 people onboard.

A Gettysburg visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team boarded the suspected “mothership” along with members of U.S. Coast Guard Legal Detachment (LEDET) 409 and apprehended the suspected pirates after finding eight assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and one rocket-propelled grenade. All 17 of the passengers were brought on board Gettysburg for further questioning.

“This is another clear example of how coordination between the Combined Maritime Forces resulted in the successful disruption of pirate activity,” said Royal Navy Commodore Tim Lowe, Deputy Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces. “It is imperative that all maritime forces continue to synchronize their efforts to deter and disrupt these unlawful and aggressive acts.”

Gettysburg and Munmu the Great are operating in support of CTF 151, a multinational task force established to conduct counterpiracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the CMF area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations. - Combined Maritime Forces (Via EagleSpeak)
Great work. Interesting to see that the boarding party included a legal team. Here is a summary from Wikipedia:
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) officially established the Law Enforcement Detachment or LEDET program in 1982. The first LEDETs operated directly under Coast Guard groups and districts, where they served as law enforcement specialists, conducting training and local operations. In 1986, Public Law (P.L.) 99-570 specifically authorized the establishment of billets for active duty USCG personnel to carry out drug interdiction operations from naval surface vessels provided by the Department of Defense (DoD). Since the Posse Comitatus Act strictly prohibits United States Department of Defense personnel from directly engaging in law enforcement activities, LEDETs were tasked with operating aboard United States Navy ships to investigate contacts and conduct boardings in accordance with USCG policy and directives.

In accordance with P.L. 99-570, LEDETs were to deploy on U.S. Navy (USN) "ships of opportunity", transiting or operating in areas frequently used by illegal drug traffickers. In 1988, P.L. 100-456 made it a requirement that USCG law enforcement personnel be assigned to each appropriate USN surface vessel that transits a drug interdiction area. - Wikipedia
Most interesting. Here is the video.


Who says that there is no work in Somalia. This ship in in dire need of a rebuild and a paint job. This also appears to be the largest 'mothership' caught yet.

Thanks to EagleSpeak for his unblinking coverage of the Piracy situation off Somalia!

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