Monday, May 11, 2009

More pirate stuff

The lead ship of the class of vessels we helped design and build, the USNS LEWIS AND CLARK (T-AKE 1) was involved in a pirate incident last week.

Off the coast of Somalia and while in support of the 5th Fleet, the LEWIS AND CLARK was pursued by two pirate skiffs for more than an hour. The skiffs were as close as one mile from the ship when she sped up to leave the pirates behind.

At one point, the pirates fired small arms at the ship but didn't come close to hitting the vessel.

Recall that in addition to serving as a replenishment ship for the 5th Fleet, she is also serving as a brig as one of her cargo holds has been converted into a jail to detain captured pirates.

Some of the commenters over at Information Dissemination were taking some shots at the tactics employed by the ship. These were both unfortunate and unfair. We have it on excellent authority that though the ship did have a security detachment onboard (most likely Marines), the ship was under strict orders to make evasive manuevers, first and only if that did not succeed they were permitted to go hot.

And what could the pirates have expected once they made it onboard? We were on copy for an email the Chief Engineer sent our office and this is what he had to say:

We were kidding that if "they" got onboard and came down to the (engine control room)
they'd look in, see 4 guys with bandanas on their heads, beards, pony tails
and Cuban cigars and figure that their buddies had already captured the (engine room).

During the event I tried giving (another member of the engine department) my collar devices but he didn't want them.


B-Daddy said...

It's just cost/benefit analysis. Far less costly to just speed up than have to deal with the aftermath of a firefight. I happen to agree with the ROE in this case. We are unlikely to kill them all, and we would also have to deal with a trial when they surrender. This isn't going to be solved on the high seas anyway, there are far more pirates than we can possibly kill. We need to get Somalia cleaned up as a nation, before it becomes another al-Qaeda haven, if it isn't already.

Road Dawg said...

OH......PLEASE! Of course there are more pirates than we can kill. That's because we didn't kill them in the first place.

OMG, Cost effective?... how short sighted is that? Cost effective for this incident, but not for the big picture!

How many pirates do think there will be if the attrition rate is high NOW! Now it's a business plan, a way of life. Start killing them, I bet the amount of young men going into the "pirate endeavor" will be drastically reduced.

Peace through superior firepower.

Can't believe my brother has become such a pussy,

Anonymous said...

Go Rockets