U.S. Marines early Thursday boarded and seized control of a German-owned commercial vessel that had been commandeered by pirates, in what appeared to be the first American-led military boarding of its kind amid a recent surge of attacks in the Gulf of Aden and along the east coast of Africa.
See also this on the Marines from the U.S. Naval Insitute Blog Pirates Beware: Force Recon Really Does Have Your Number:
“We got word that the pirates wanted to stay on and fight — it was funny b/c when we came alongside and they saw us board and rush the superstructure, you could see the look change in their eyes…they didn’t want to play anymore…you’d be proud of the men today, they represented America with honor. It didn’t need to be a bloodless day (for the pirates) but it was…For an earlier blog post by the Marine Captain with this unit, Alex Martin, on the nature of piracy, see The Reality of Piracy.
The guys executed with the highest violence of action, and yet, highest level of restraint, I’ve ever seen.”
Marines doing what Marines were meant to do, taking the fight to the enemy at sea.
UPDATE: Photo added. Photo info:
Helicopters from USS Dubuque (LPD 8) provide aerial watch as U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force, embarked on Dubuque, right, boarded and seized control of Antigua and Barbuda-flagged, German-owned vessel M/V Magellan Star, left, early Sept. 9. Pirates attacked and boarded Magellan Star Sept. 8. Dubuque is part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, the multinational task force established by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali basin. (U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician 2nd Class William Farmerie)From NavCent press release:
MANAMA, Bahrain – At approximately 5 a.m. local time, Sept. 9, 24 U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force (MRF) aboard USS Dubuque (LPD 8) operating under Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), boarded and seized control of Antigua-Barbuda-flagged, German–owned vessel M/V Magellan Star from pirates who attacked and boarded the vessel early Sept 8.BZ to everyone involved!
This successful mission by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) secured the safety of the ship’s crew and returned control of the ship to the civilian mariners. Nine pirates are currently under control of CTF 151, pending further disposition. This ship’s crew has not reported any injuries or casualties. There were no reported injuries from the U.S. Maritime Raid Force.
The CTF-151 flagship, TCG Gökçeada, a Turkish frigate, was the first ship on scene, responding to a distress call received from Magellan Star, Sept. 8. Two additional warships assigned to CTF-151, USS Dubuque (LPD 8) and USS Princeton (CG 59) arrived in the vicinity of the attack to provide support to Gökçeada.
Turkish Navy Rear Adm. Sinan Ertugrul, commander, CTF-151 said, “units from the multi-national maritime force, under Combined Task Force 151, are actively engaged in anti-piracy operations. This regional problem, truly, has global impact and we are completely committed to bringing the disruptive acts of piracy to an end. We have full support of the international community and will continue to do everything possible to bring security to the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.”
CTF-151 is one of three task forces operated by the 25 nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). CTF-151 was established in January 2009 in order to deter, disrupt, and suppress piracy, protecting maritime vessels of all nationalities and securing international freedom of navigation.