January 9, 2009

U.S. Navy launches New Command to lead fight against Piracy

In a decision that underlines the value of shared responsibilities, values, and costs in terms of global security issues, a new international force consisting of more than 20 nations and headed by the U.S. Navy and Rear Admiral Terence McKnight (pictured) has been set up to ward off ocean piracy and is expected to begin operations as early as next week. Navy Times reports that Rear Adm. Terry McKnight would head Combined Task Force 151, which is expected to be “fully operational” in days.

“… pirate attacks have grown in the past months despite broader United Nations authorization to pursue suspected hijackers at sea and ashore … “Some navies in our coalition did not have the authority to conduct counterpiracy missions,” Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said in the announcement. “The establishment of CTF-151 will allow those nations to operate under the auspices of CTF-150, while allowing other nations to join CTF-151 to support our goal of deterring, disrupting and eventually bringing to justice the maritime criminals involved in piracy events.”

“The most effective measures we’ve seen to defeat piracy are non-kinetic and defensive in nature,” Gortney said in the Jan. 8 statement. “But the problem of piracy is and continues to be a problem that begins ashore and is an international problem that requires an international solution. We believe the establishment of CTF-151 is a significant step in the right direction.”

A surface warfare officer and a native of Norfolk, McKnight had recently been the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, since Sept. 2007. The new task force will operate in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean.”
According to the BBC more than a dozen ships with around 200 crewmembers remain in the hands of pirates, among the most valuable being a Saudi supertanker, loaded with $100 million of crude oil and an Ukrainian vessel with Russian-made tanks and other heavy weapons on board.

The threat of piracy is a shared concern; hence, it is pleasing to witness the formation of this International Anti-Pirate Armada, one that hopefully will not only counter the efforts of pirates but more importantly, serve as a foundation for shared duty in a world where common threats to global interests, are typically left for the U.S. to confront alone.

Image: AP Photo/US Navy - Jennifer A. Villalovos

11 comments:

Tapline said...

Otto, I had not heard of this before. I normally do not listen to the news nor read papers. I get my news primarily from the blogs, but have read nothing of this force. Outstanding post....

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

It seems almost strange to be hearing about pirates in 2009. But the reality is that they have always been around and the current batch are notorious in their apporach and ruthlessness.

Once again it takes the leadership of the US to attack the problem and seek a solution for the wrold.

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

A lot of piracy is going on in the Indian Ocean. They're making billions from ransom payments to support genocide in African nations. It's sick and sad.

The ransom payments must stop! Blow them out of the water and get it over with.

McKnight is the kind of guy who knows we have the firepower to get the job done.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hard to believe this is the 21 century and barbarians roam the seas!!..ty for voting for me Otto!:)

Jeff said...

Otto - Hopefully like Pompey the Great he will sweep the sea clear of pirates. Interesting post, I too, had not heard of this.

AI said...

Tap: It hasn't featured greatly in the news...

AI said...

Ken "The Lib Lie the Conservative Truth: Once again it takes the leadership of the US to attack the problem. One of the goals of this blog is to highlight just this....

AI said...

Pasadena Closet Conservative: Thanks, I am not sure whether I have read your comments at AI before...regardless welcome! I too am confident in Rear Adm. Terry McKnight ...

AI said...

WHT: Have voted! More than once in fact...

AI said...

Jeff: Somali pirates have accepted a $US3 million ransom and freed on the Saudi supertanker seized in what was the world's biggest ship hijacking but guess what...

Somali pirates drown after boat capsizes:

Sun Jan 11, 2009

Reports from Somalia say at least five of the pirates who released a hijacked Saudi supertanker yesterday drowned after they left the ship.

The leader of the gang says one of their boats capsized as it sped away after the ransom was parachuted onto the oil tanker.

Several pirates managed to swim to shore.

In Iran, state media say an Iranian ship hijacked by Somali pirates in November was also released yesterday.


Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/11/2463101.htm

Vince said...

It hasn't featured greatly in the news...

___________________

Vince

Save OVER 50% for 3 months,Save $21/mo for an Entire Year!* on your Favorite Channels