Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, January 9, 2009

20 nations join U.S. Navy's anti-piracy fleet

ABU DHABI — The U.S. Fifth Fleet has established an international force to combat piracy in the Gulf region.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet said its new international naval force would battle pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The command, based in Bahrain, has recruited the participation of 20 countries against Somali-based pirates.

"The Combined Maritime Forces has established Combined Task Force 151 specifically for counter-piracy operations," the U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Jan. 8.

The commander of the task force was identified as U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Terence McKnight. Officials said the new anti-piracy force would be fully operational by mid-January.

Also In This Edition

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 events."

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."

About Us     l    Contact Us     l     l
Copyright © 2008    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.