USS Carney (DDG 64), part of NATO’s counter-piracy task force Operation Ocean Shield, worked with other NATO forces and coalition partners to disrupt pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 5.
A Japanese maritime patrol aircraft patrolling the area on counter-piracy operations spotted a suspicious skiff with seven suspected pirates aboard and contacted the NATO flagship ITS Andrea Doria who in turn tasked Carney to investigate.
In a coordinated operation, Carney approached the skiff, while the patrol aircraft circled overhead. As the warship appeared on the horizon the skiff attempted to flee however it stopped when hailed.
The patrol aircraft and Carney observed the suspected pirates throwing items overboard. The items were visually confirmed by the patrol aircraft as ladders and other pirate-related equipment.
A team from Carney boarded the skiff and after a thorough search seized the excess fuel and other items useful to piracy activity, before ensuring the skiff had enough fuel to return to the Somali coast.
In 2009, 45 ships were hijacked in the region; so far in 2011, 21 ships have been hijacked effectively halving the number of ships taken. Naval warships have been in the region constantly providing a visible presence and deterrence and this has undoubtedly contributed to the pirates’ lack of success.
Carney is currently deployed, assigned to NATO, conducting counter-piracy operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
Naval Today Staff , December 08, 2011; Image: navy