Combined Task Force Makes First Suspected Pirate Capture
American Forces Press Service
ABOARD USS GETTYSBURG AT SEA, May 14, 2009 Ships from Combined Task Force 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.
The South Korean destroyer ROKS Munmu the Great and guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg responded to a distress call from the Egyptian-flagged motor vessel Amira, which reported being attacked about 75 nautical miles south of Mukalla, Yemen.
Several assault rifle rounds and a rocket-propelled grenade round struck the Amira, causing little or no damage. 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 46 located a small boat suspected of serving as a pirate mothership.
A Gettysburg visit, board, search and seizure team boarded the boat along with members of U.S. Coast Guard Legal Detachment 409 and apprehended the suspected pirates after finding eight assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a 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 deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and secure freedom of navigation.
(From a Combined Maritime Forces news release.)