On 19 January 2012, M/V Albrouj, a Yemeni dhow en route to Somalia from Yemen, hailed a helicopter conducting operations from USS HALSEY (DDG 97) and indicated that they were in distress.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), which was two hours away from the position of the dhow, immediately responded to the distress call. USS Halsey is currently the flagship of Combined Task Force 151 conducting counter piracy and maritime security operations.
The helicopter’s air crew based out of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light Four Nine
(HSL 49), quickly relayed the vessel’s position to HALSEY. The ship responded quickly and upon arriving on the scene, the ship launched two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB’s) to provide assistance. Two electricians from HALSEY conducted an investigation along with Albrouj’s boat engineer, discovered a faulty alternator and four dead batteries. The ship provided the dhow with two batteries to allow the crew to safely continue their voyage to Somalia. The dhow’s master thanked the boarding team warmly as they disembarked to return to the ship.
Electricians Mate Second Class (SW) Clinton D. Easley who was one of the ship’s electrical engineers who boarded the dhow, said; “We quickly realized that the problem lay with the alternator and that the batteries were being drained extremely fast. By providing them with a couple of spare batteries that we had onboard the problem was solved and the dhow was quickly on its way”.
Commodore Jensen from Commander Combined Task Force 151 was quoted as saying, “All mariners who sail the oceans should respond quickly to a fellow mariner’s distress call. The sea can be an unforgiving place, when your vessel is adrift and without power. I’m very pleased with the swift assistance that USS HALSEY rendered on this occasion”.
USS HALSEY has recently assumed the role of Flagship to Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, Royal Danish Navy and his multi-national CTF 151 command staff. CTF 151 transferred command from the Pakistani Navy who were stationed aboard the USS KIDD (DDG 100).
CTF 151 is one of three Task Forces assigned to Combined Maritime Forces. Established in February 2002 the Task Force’s key mission is to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. It protects and defends the legitimate use of the ocean by fisherman and merchants and stands ready to assist any mariner in distress.