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>Turkish Navy Takes Action Against A Skiff Close To The Shore (UPDATED)

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Turkish Navy announced yesterday, that a skiff used for piracy was put out of action.

Turkish frigate F-492 TCG Gökçeada during the execution of a reconnaissance-surveillance mission close to the coast identified a boat that was used for piracy.

According to the news release appropriate action was taken against the boat.

Now the term “appropriate action” is very vague and does not mean much. If there had been any arrest it would have been mentioned thus I assume that the crew of the skiff was released after the “appropriate action”.


The most single important information in that short news release is the fact that TCG Gökçeada was close to the shore. The photos unfortunately do not show any horizon so that we can guess how close the ship was to the shore at the time of the interception but the color of the sea is much murkier compared to the color of the sea from the photos taken during the actions in open seas. The color of the sea is indicative that the ship (probably) was visible from the land.

This is a major tactical shift in the war against piracy. The naval task forces in then area are now appearing much closer the shore that before in order to identify and comprehend pirate boats before they do out to the sea.

We will see if this change in tactics will help in the fight against piracy.

UPDATE:
US Navy released more information about actions of TCG Gökçeada:

TCG SOMALI BASIN (NNS) — Turkish frigate TCG Gokceada, flagship to the multi-national Combined Task Force 151, successfully disrupted a group suspected of planning an act of piracy Sept. 26.

The ship’s helicopter was scanning the southern Somali coast for pirate activity when a suspicious vessel was seen not far from the shore and near a suspected pirate camp, some 100 miles south of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Initial reports from the helicopter crew stated seeing the kind of equipment commonly used by pirates on the vessel. TCG Gokceada’s boarding team was quickly dispatched and boarded the suspicious vessel.

The seven-man boarding team found 21 drums of fuel, enough to sustain a small vessel at sea for many days, and a long ladder with hooks (the kind typically used by pirates to board large cargo vessels).

Approval was given for the boarding team to transfer the three personnel on the vessel ashore, to confiscate the fuel and ladder, and sink the vessel.

“This disruption to this suspected pirate activity is a small, but significant step in sending the message that we are here as a credible and capable force, and that we have the resolve to deal with this issue,” said Cmdr. Cihat Asan, TCG Gokceada commanding officer.”

TCG Gokceada is the command ship for counter-piracy operations in the Somali Basin, where numerous ships from different navies are patrolling the area to rid the region of piracy, and provide maritime security in the busy shipping lanes. The coalition task force is currently being commanded by Rear Adm. Sinan Ertugrul from the Turkish navy.

“My task force is here as a force for good,” said Ertugrul. “We are providing maritime security to all legitimate seafarers who require free use of the sea without hindrance or threat from piracy. I am particularly glad that this boarding was dealt with so swiftly and professionally by all on TCG Gokceada, and that they did so safely and in accordance with all prescribed rules and regulations.”

CTF-151’s mission is to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy, protecting maritime vessels of any nationality and securing freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. In conjunction with NATO and EU Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR), CTF-151 conducts patrols in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) and supports the best management practice (BMP) methods that are promoted to the shipping industry for the avoidance of piracy.

This news release provides answers to many important questions like, what happenend to the pirates, how close was the frigate to the shore and what the phrase “approriate action as taken against the boat” does really mean.

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2 Responses to >Turkish Navy Takes Action Against A Skiff Close To The Shore (UPDATED)

  1. Anonymous says:

    >90% of the pirates operate from Puntland in the north BUT this action was taking place in the south where the radical islamists are in control. Selective anti piracy efforts?

  2. Saturn 5 says:

    >A good question. TCG Gökçeada is in the region as a part of CTF-151. As far as I know, SNMG-1/2, ATALANTA and CTF-151 divided the coast of Somalia and each has its own area of operation. I think the operation area of the CTF-151 is the south coast of Somalia where the Islamists are ruling. Thus I do not think that it was a selective action of Turkish Navy.

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