THREE REGIONS YOUR NAVY COMBATS PIRACY AROUND THE GLOBE
The U.S. Navy is forward deployed across the globe working with its international partners protecting international shipping, and deterring, disrupting and suppressing piracy.
There are three main regions the Navy focuses its efforts to combat piracy.
HORN OF AFRICA
Motivated by escalating ransom payments that grew to millions of dollars, Somali men turned to piracy in the mid-2000s. As a result, piracy evolved from a fairly ad hoc, disorganized effort to a highly developed criminal enterprise that focused on hijacking entire merchant vessels in demand for ransom.
GULF OF GUINEA
The majority of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea occur within 12 nautical miles of the coast. More often, armed robbery and piracy in this region are focused on kidnapping crew for ransom and stealing cargo.
Nearly one quarter of the world’s commerce and half its oil pass through the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea. The majority of piracy incidents are quickly executed, non-confrontational “smash and grab” operations that take place within territorial waters while ships are at anchor or berthed.
Find Out More about the Navy’s Fight Against Piracy
ONE OF THE MOST HIGH-PROFILE PIRACY INCIDENTS was the 2009 hijacking and kidnapping from the U.S.-flagged M/V Maersk Alabama container ship off the Somali coast. The ship’s master, Captain Richard Phillips, was taken off the ship and held hostage in a lifeboat. U.S. Navy ships and assets present in the region responded to the incident.
Setting the Scene
Several U.S. and international units worked to rescue Captain Phillips and the M/V Maersk Alabama.
The region was very active in the spring of 2009. At least six pirate attacks occurred in the area during the week of the Maersk Alabama incident. Combined Task Force 151 and the U.S. Navy worked together to end the flurry of attacks and also encouraged merchant shipping companies to develop new means of self-defense.
M/V Maersk Alabama is a container ship owned by Maersk Line Limited. She was steaming 280 miles off the coast southeast of the Somali port of Eyl and carrying 5,000 metric tons of relief supplies for Somalia, Kenya and Uganda when the pirate attack occurred. The crew fought back against the pirates, eventually capturing one of them while the pirates themselves took Captain Phillips hostage. With 18 USS Bainbridge Sailors on board as a security force, Alabama left the area and headed south to the Kenyan port of Mombasa while the Navy pursued the pirates. From 2005 to 2007, Somali piracy incidents typically occurred with 200 nautical miles of the Somali coast. After 2007 though, Somali pirates had expanded their operating range to up to 1,200 nautical miles. MAP
Former Commanding Officer of USS Bainbridge, Captain Castellano, tells his sea story about piracy in the waters near Somalia.https://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/676083