Oct. 29, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Five Attacks Thwarted in Gulf of Aden
MANAMA, Bahrain – Five piracy attempts occurred yesterday in the Gulf of Aden; they were all unsuccessful as a result of pro-active measures taken by masters and crews of the commercial shipping vessels.
Even when shots were fired during two of these attacks, the crews of commercial shipping vessels conducted evasive maneuvering and used fire hoses to repel their attackers.
“The pro-active measures taken yesterday by merchant vessels are exactly what we have been recommending,” said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, Combined Maritime Forces. “For slightly more than two months the Coalition has been working with the commercial shipping industry and the International Maritime Organization to recommend best practices and leverage lessons learned to employ reasonable self-protection measures. These measures range from proactive lookouts and evasive maneuvering to embarking professional security teams.”
The Combined Maritime Forces also established a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) Aug. 22, in support of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) call for international assistance to discourage attacks on commercial vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden
Since its establishment, Coalition units have deterred more than two dozen attacks in the Gulf of Aden.
“Piracy is a threat to the security of all nations and requires an international solution,” said Gortney. “The Coalition’s presence is helping deter destabilizing activity, allowing the shipping industry time to implement self-protection measures and the international community to establish a legal framework to hold pirates accountable for their actions.”
Piracy is an international crime that threatens global commerce. Governments, militaries, law enforcement and the maritime industry have a shared responsibility to repress the universal crime of piracy.
In addition to Coalition naval forces, ships and aircraft from several other nations to include a NATO task force are operating in the region. While there is no formal agreement between the Coalition and other navies, they have been communicating with each other and sharing information to more effectively patrol the area.
These additional forces also allow Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 to more broadly assign assets to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO) throughout their 2.5 million square mile operating area.
MSO complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremist use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material. Through training opportunities with regional partners, CTF 150 enhances existing cooperative relationships which aim to support regional countries’ struggles against violent extremism.