|USS Dubuque on the left and TCG Gökçeada
on background of Magellan Star
This week’s most important naval news is the recapturing of the Antigua-Barbuda-flagged, German–owned vessel M/V Magellan Star by US Marines.
On 8th September, when the pirates aborded the ship, the crew escaped to a citadel inside the ship and called for help. The CTF-151 flagship, F-494 TCG Gökçeada, was the first ship on scene, responding to the distress call. Two additional US warships assigned to CTF-151, LPD-8 USS Dubuque and CG-59 USS Princeton were send to assist.
Although TCG Gökçeada was the first ship to arrive, it was the US Marines on board of USS Dubuque who took the Magellan Star by force. There is an excellent point of view report from one of the marines who took part in the action. In the small hours of 9th September, when US Marines boarded, the crew of M/V Magellan Star was still inside the citadel and the 9 armed pirates did not fight back, that was a clever move of them.
Afterwards, the commander of CTF-151, Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul said:
“units from the multi-national maritime force, under Combined Task Force 151, are actively engaged in anti-piracy operations. This regional problem, truly, has global impact and we are completely committed to bringing the disruptive acts of piracy to an end. We have full support of the international community and will continue to do everything possible to bring security to the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.”
Click here for the official statment.
A special forces team is always embarked on board of Turkish warships send to the region. On the official statement of Turkish Navy it was not clearly mentioned whether there is a special forces team currently on the board of TCG Gökçeada. If there is one I wonder why they have not taken actively part in the rescue operation.