ARABIAN SEA – Guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), counter-piracy mission Combined Maritime Force’s (CMF) counter-piracy mission Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 flag ship, destroyed a skiff, successfully disrupting the activities of a group suspected of planning acts of piracy, April 12.
One of Mason’s SH-60B Seahawk helicopters located the dhow Tuesday morning. Mason made bridge-to-bridge radio contact with the dhow and determined suspected Somali pirates on board were armed with AK-47s and rocket launchers.
During discussions with Mason, the suspected pirates abandoned various piracy paraphernalia, including a skiff and boarding ladder. Mason subsequently destroyed the skiff with Close in Weapons System (CIWS) and 25mm machine gun fire ensuring it would not be used for future pirate activity. No fire was directed against the dhow and no one sustained any injury during the operation.
CTF 151 is a multi-national task force established by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in January 2009 to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and Arabian Sea. The Singapore Navy Forces assumed command of CTF 151 on March 31.
CMF is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.