USS Vella Gulf of CTF 151 Captures 16 Suspected Somali Pirates in 24 Hours

by OldSailor on February 14, 2009


USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) guided-missile cruiser, the flagship of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) has captured 16 suspected Somali pirates in less than 24 hours.  Some of the interesting features are:

  • The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) on January 08 specifically for counter-piracy operations in the Gulf uss_vella_gulfof Aden, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Naval ships and assets of more than 20 nations are part of the Combined Maritime Forces.
  • On February 04, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) became the flagship of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151.
  • On February 11, around 1500 hours local time
    • The crew of USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) apprehended seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden after responding to a distress call from a nearby merchant vessel MV Polaris.
    • The suspected pirates are expected to be kept in a temporary holding facility on board the supply ship USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1).
  • On February 12, around 0400 hours local time
    • Apprehended seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden after responding to a distress call from Indian-flagged MV Premdivya.
    • Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) teams on boarding the pirate vessel, found weapons including one rocket propelled grenade launcher.
  • All the 16 suspected pirates will remain onboard Lewis and Clark until information and evidence is assembled and evaluated and a decision is made regarding their further transfer.

Here are some photographs from U.S.Navy.

Visit, board, search and seizure team members (VBSS) in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) from USS Vella Gulf close in to apprehend suspected pirates. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released.




Read more from U.S.Navy here and here.

Posts in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

Bad Weather Hinders Food Supplies to Far East Russian Island

Update: February 18

The 16 suspected pirates captured could face separate prosecutions in countries other than Kenya, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters in Washington on February 17. Read more from U.S Navy.

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