In August 2008, the U.S. Navy formed the Maritime Security Patrol Area
in the Gulf of Aden to battle piracy. The area was patrolled by Combined
Task Force 150, designed to counter drug smuggling and weapons trafficking
in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
"Some navies in our coalition did not have the authority to conduct
counter-piracy missions," U.S. Vice Adm, Bill Gortney, commander of Combined
Maritime Forces, said. "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
Officials said piracy has been reduced in the Gulf of Aden since August
2008. They cited the deployment of several navies as well as protective
measures by commercial shippers.
"The most effective measures we've seen to defeat piracy are non-kinetic
and defensive in nature," Gortney said. "The merchant ships have been doing
a great job stepping up and utilizing these methods to defeat piracy
attempts. That's a great first step. 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."