Sunday, May 10, 2009

So why the hell is a Navy ship running away

from pirates?
MANAMA (Reuters) - Pirates have fired small arms weapons at a U.S. Navy supply ship off the coast of Eastern Somalia, the first attack of this kind since last year's surge in pirate attacks, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday.

The USNS Lewis and Clark was chased for about an hour on Wednesday morning by two pirates skiffs, but neither came closer than about one nautical mile to the U.S. vessel, the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

The small arms fire fell well short of the U.S. ship which speeded up to evade the skiffs

I understand it's a supply ship; but no weapons? Small arms or other? What the matter, the Navy doesn't trust sailors with them? Doesn't it set kind of a bad precedent for a U.S. Navy vessel to outrun pirates instead of, oh, sinking the boats?


flockofone said...

USNS Lewis and Clark. Military sealift command ship. Crewed by civilian merchant mariners. Have small arms locker but (most all MSC ships) have larger weapon mounts removed.

Sailorcurt said...

What Flock said.

There is usually a small contingent of active duty navy personnel, but people like Radiomen, Electronics techs, like that...

Most of the crew is civilian and, though they generally have some small arms aboard, are considered non-combatant and would prefer to avoid conflict rather than engage in it.

I will say, however, that, had the pirate boats actually caught up with and attempted to board the USNS...they probably would have regretted it...if they lived long enough to do so.

Unless, of course, the captain of the ship were ordered to surrender and not resist by National Command Authority...which wouldn't surprise me overly, considering who is currently occupying that position.

Firehand said...

I would hope catching it would be the last mistake they made, but damn, I just hate the thought of Navy ships running from pirates in speedboats.

The day this President orders a Navy vessel, of any type, to surrender to pirates rather than fight, is the day I tell my congresscritters to file for impeachment.

Fire said...


I feel the same way. Blowing the pirates to hell in the speedboat is more like it. It would teach a lesson. And they would learn that lesson quickly.