Landing the Big One

Landing the Big One

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Somali Pirates: Skiffs sunk by USS Lake Champlain

USS Lake Champlain (CG-57)
Press release from Combined Maritime Force CMF ship USS Lake Champlain disrupts pirate activity, destroys pirate skiffs:
Just after 9.00 pm on Mar. 14, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warship USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), assigned to CMF’s counter-piracy mission Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, destroyed two skiffs, successfully disrupting the activities of a group suspected of planning acts of piracy.

Lake Champlain’s helicopter was scanning the Arabian Sea for pirate activity when a suspicious dhow was seen some 520 nautical miles south of Masirah, Oman. Initial reports from the helicopter crew stated seeing the dhow towing two unmanned small skiffs, loaded with equipment commonly used by pirates. Lake Champlain was directed to intercept the suspected pirate group and after monitoring the vessels, launched a well-planned operation to destroy the skiffs using sustained fire from the ship’s MK 15 Phalanx close-in weapons system. No fire was directed against the dhow and no one sustained any injury during the operation.
That should slow them down - now the effort needs to be focused closer to the Somali coast - before the pirates get far enough out to sea to threaten sea lanes.

Map is from NATO's Counter Piracy Operation.


  1. Does the USN really need a CG to sink pirate skiffs?

  2. When you only have hammers, every problem becomes a nail.

  3. Anonymous1:38 PM

    No, the US Navy does not need a Cruiser to sink skiffs. But we were there (I say we because I am an Officer currently aboard USS Lake Champlain, and was a gun mount captain at the time of the incident), and we had the right equipment for the job.

  4. Anon: Not a slam on you or Lake Champlain - and good shooting, by the way - but a slam at the powers that be that have allowed our fleet to shrink to fewer ships than some of us believe we need, which in turn results in a cruiser doing a mission that could be done by a less expensive ship while the cruisers could be doing real cruiser things.