Archive for the ‘Gulf of Aden’ Category

Japan To Send Warships On Anti-Piracy Mission

February 3, 2009

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) said Tuesday that it will dispatch two destroyers on an anti-piracy mission off Somalia once receiving the order from the defense minister.

To be sent on the mission are the 4,650-ton Sazanami and 4,550-ton Samidare of the 8th Escort Division of the 4th Escort Flotillain Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, the MSDF said.


Sazanami

On Wednesday Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) to prepare for the mission in a bid to protect Japanese and Japan-linked ships from pirates’ attacks.

In line with Article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) Law, which governs policing action on the seas, the MSDF will dispatch the two destroyers, according to an outline of the operational guidelines for the MSDF released on Jan. 27.

Under the maritime policing provision, the MSDF will protect only Japan-related vessels, including Japanese-registered ships and foreign vessels with Japanese nationals or shipments aboard.

The dispatch of the MSDF, the first overseas military deployment under the SDF law, is expected to take place in March at the earliest after training and other preparatory work is finished.

–Xinhua

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Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090128
/ap_on_re_as/as_piracy_2

Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, right in the background, ... 
Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, right in the background, meet leaders of Self Defense Force as the minister orders the dispatch of the ships to fight piracy off the shores of Somalia, at Defense Ministry in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009.(AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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Somali pirates hijack German gas tanker, 13 crew

January 29, 2009

Somali pirates hijacked a German tanker loaded with liquefied petroleum gas Thursday off the Horn of Africa. The ship’s 13-man crew was reported safe even though gunshots were heard over the ship’s radio.

The MV Longchamp is the third ship captured this month in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, Associated Press Writer

This photo released on Wednesday Jan.28, 2009 by the French ... 
This photo released on Wednesday Jan.28, 2009 by the French Defense ministry, shows suspected pirates intercepted by Marine commandos of the French Navy in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia’s coast, Tuesday Jan.27, 2009. The soldiers from the ‘Le Floreal’ frigate intercepted nine people trying to take over the Indian cargo ship ‘African Ruby’.(AP Photo/Ecpad/French Defense Ministry/HO)

The Longchamp, registered in the Bahamas, is managed by the German firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which said in a statement that seven pirates boarded the tanker early Thursday.

Spokesman Andre Delau said the ship’s master had been briefly allowed to communicate with the firm and had said the crew of 12 Filipinos and one Indonesian were safe.

“We think that everything is in order, nobody is injured,” he told The Associated Press.

No ransom demands have been made yet, the company said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090129/ap_o
n_re_af/piracy;_ylt=Am5snIANH5HfMX
ISMG_eBCZvaA8F

US Navy Seeks Arms Bound for Hamas in Gaza

January 25, 2009

AN American naval taskforce in the Gulf of Aden has been ordered to hunt for suspicious Iranian arms ships heading for the Red Sea as Tehran seeks to re-equip Hamas, its Islamist ally in Gaza.

According to US diplomatic sources, Combined Task Force 151, which is countering pirates in the Gulf of Aden, has been instructed to track Iranian arms shipments.

Last week the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dockship that serves as the command and control centre for the taskforce, boarded the former Russian cargo vessel Monchegorsk, which is registered in Limassol and flying a Cypriot flag.

The ship docked at an Egyptian Red Sea port for a detailed search during which, according to unconfirmed reports, weapons were found.

LPD-17 Class.jpg
Above: USS San Antonio

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wor
ld/middle_east/article5581382.ece

Russian navy saves Dutch ship from Somali pirates

January 14, 2009

The Russian navy helped foil an attack by Somali pirates on a Dutch container ship in the dangerous Gulf of Aden, a maritime watchdog said Wednesday.

Six pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades at the ship, which took evasive maneuvers while calling for help, said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The pirates chased the vessel for about 30 minutes but aborted their attempt to board the ship after a Russian warship and helicopter arrived at the scene, Choong said.

Associated Press

Pirates last year attacked 111 ships and seized 42 off the Horn of Africa, many in the Gulf of Aden. An international flotilla including U.S. warships has stopped many attacks, but the area is too vast to keep all ships safe in the vital sea lane that links Asia to Europe.

Choong said it was nevertheless getting harder for Somali pirates to hijack ships because of increased naval patrols and the vigilant watch kept by ships that pass through the area.

“The attacks are continuing but successful hijackings by pirates have (been) reduced,” he said.

There have been 11 attacks in Somali waters this year, with two ships hijacked. In total, 11 vessels with 210 crew members remain in pirate hands, Choong said.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and its lawless coastline is a haven for pirates. The multimillion dollar ransoms are one of the only ways to make money in the impoverished nation.

Pirate Patrol Off Somalia To Be Headed By U.S. Navy

January 8, 2009

The U.S. Navy says one of its commanders will lead a new international force to battle pirates off the coast of Somalia.

More than 20 nations are expected to take part in the mission once it is fully under way later this month. The announcement Thursday by U.S. Navy officials in Bahrain did not list the countries participating, but said the force will be headed by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Terence McKnight.

Merchant fleets have been calling for a stronger military response to pirates after a sharp escalation in attacks last year. At least 111 ships were attacked and more than 40 of them commandeered.

It is not clear whether the new anti-pirate force will have any expanded powers to battle pirates.

–Associated Press

The French warship Nivose escorts a convoy of commercial ships ... 
The French warship Nivose escorts a convoy of commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Eric Cabanis)

China begins landmark Somali piracy patrols

January 6, 2009

A Chinese naval convoy arrived Tuesday in the Gulf of Aden on a landmark mission to protect the country’s shipping from Somali pirates and escorted its first four vessels, state media reported.

The four ships escorted were Chinese merchant vessels, including one from Hong Kong, Xinhua news agency said in a dispatch filed from aboard the destroyer Wuhan.

The naval mission, deploying two destroyers and a supply ship, marks China‘s first potential combat mission beyond its territorial waters in centuries.

AFP

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, China’s missile destroyer Wuhan leads Chinese ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. The Chinese naval fleet arrived in the area on Tuesday to carry out the first escort mission against pirates, Xinhua said.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Qian Xiaohu)

The fleet was deployed in response to an escalation of pirate attacks on merchant ships, including Chinese vessels, plying the crucial shipping route linking Asia and Europe.

The missile-armed destroyers DDG-171 Haikou and DDG-169 Wuhan, and the Weishanhu supply ship, are among China’s most sophisticated and have all entered service this decade, Xinhua said previously.

They will operate alongside other international warships patrolling the area near the Gulf of Aden, part of the Suez Canal route.

The fleet will mainly protect Chinese vessels, including those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, but will also escort foreign ships passing through the area on request, Xinhua has said.

After three months the ships will be replaced by another flotilla, depending on UN Security Council decisions and the situation at the time, reports have said.

China has said its warships will investigate any suspected pirate vessels, and approach them and demand that they show their relevant documents and certificates.

Two helicopters accompanying the flotilla will be used during such tasks, military officials said earlier.

China projects naval power in pirate fight

December 30, 2008

China’s dispatch of two warships to help battle Somalian pirates has drawn an ambivalent global reaction – a sign of the decidedly mixed feelings toward its bid for big-power status.

Two destroyers and a supply ship steamed out of a southern Chinese port Friday, on China‘s first patrol and potential combat mission beyond Chinese waters. The ships are due to reach the Gulf of Aden by Jan. 6 and carry 870 crew members, including 70 elite Navy special forces trained in close combat and helicopter-borne raids, according to the China Daily newspaper.

By Jonathan Adams
Christian Science Monitor

Two days earlier, a Chinese defense official, at a rare press conference, gave one of the clearest indications yet that China plans to build an aircraft carrier.

The developments reflect China’s determination to boost its sea power, in line with its rising economic and political clout.

“Now we have more overseas interests and activities, so that’s why we need a stronger force on the oceans,” says Peng Guangqian, a military expert in Beijing.

The United States frets about how a bulked-up Chinese Navy might complicate a Taiwan conflict scenario. But it welcomed the decision to join amultinational naval “posse” battling Somalian brigands, who have turned waters off east Africa into a hazardous pirates’ alley and wreaked havoc on world trade. Still, some of China’s Asian neighbors have expressed concern about its naval muscle-flexing.

China Navy's destroyers, the Haikou, top left, and the Wuhan, ... 
China Navy’s destroyers, the Haikou, top left, and the Wuhan, bottom left, and supply ship the Weishanhu, right, are moored at port before leaving for the Navy’s first oversea operation from Sanya, southern China’s Hainan province Friday, Dec. 26, 2008. On Friday, warships armed with special forces, missiles and helicopters will sail for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Color China Photo)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/2008
1230/ts_csm/ochinaboat_1

Related:
China’s Growing Naval Might Worries Many

China’s Anti-Pirate Naval Force Near Singapore

December 29, 2008

The Chinese naval fleet sailed into the Strait of Malacca on Monday after its departure from China’s southernmost island province of Hainan on an escort mission against piracy off Somalia Friday afternoon.

The fleet sailed into Singapore Strait Monday morning after over 20 hours’ voyage from the South China Sea and arrived at the Strait of Malacca. It is expected to reach the Indian Ocean Tuesday.

Xinhua

The convoy, which includes two of China’s most sophisticated naval destroyers, DDG-169 Wuhan and DDG-171 Haikou, and a supply ship Weishanhu, is heading for the Gulf of Aden to join a multinational patrol in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes where surging piracy endangers international shipping.


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet. 
She is heasded for the Gulf of Aden with two other Chinese ships to deter
Somali pirates.

The fleet carries about 800 crew members, including 70 soldiers from the Navy’s special force, and is equipped with missiles, cannons and light weapons.

Read the rest:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-12/29/content_7351266.htm

China’s Naval Task Force Departs For Historic Near Africa Mission; International Hopes

December 26, 2008

Three Chinese warships departed their homeland today a seemingly minor and some say symbolic anti-piracy mission near Somalia.

But the “out of area” deployment of Naval Warships from China is really the first such adventure in hundreds of years.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a ceremony ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a ceremony is held before a Chinese naval fleet sets sail from a port in Sanya city of China’s southernmost island province of Hainan on Friday, Dec. 26, 2008. Chinese warships, armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters, set sail Friday for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Zha Chunming)

The three ships are the Guided Missile Destroyers Wuhan (DDG-169)  and Haikou (DDG-171), and the supply ship Weishanhu. The ships have about 800 crewmen and 70 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Special Forces soldiers embarked. 

China hopes this naval mission will be the first in many to foster cooperation and respect between Chinese forces and the naval forces of the international community.

Ships participating in the anti-piracy mission come from Britain, India, Iran, the United States, France and Germany.

On Wednesday, Japan said it was considering joining the coalition.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese naval fleet including two destroyers and a supply ship from the South China Sea Fleet set off from Sanya, a coastal city of South China’s Hainan Province on Friday, Dec. 26, 2008. Chinese warships, armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters, set sail Friday for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Zha Chunming)

See a video:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7799899.stm

See CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asia
pcf/12/26/china.pirates/index.html

Related:
Japan Readies Naval Mission to Fight Pirates

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, soldiers ...
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, soldiers of Chinese navy special force carry out an anti pirate drill on the deck of DDG-171 Haikou destroyer in Sanya, capital of South China’s Hainan Province Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. On Friday, warships armed with special forces, missiles and helicopters sailed for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Zha Chunming)

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The Chinese naval fleet set sail at 1:50 p.m. on Friday from a port here in the southernmost island province of Hainan for Somalia. The ships will take part in an escort mission against piracy.

The warships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, decorated by colored ribbons and flowers, were unmoored at the military port by crew members in white naval uniforms who saluted the crowds who saw them off.

China Daily and Xinhua

Two destroyers, DDG-169 Wuhan and DDG-171 Haikou, and the supply ship Weishanhu from the South Sea Fleet will cruise for about 10 days to arrive in the Gulf of Aden, joining the multinational patrol in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes where surging piracy endangers international shipping.

Read the rest:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2
008-12/26/content_7344989.htm


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet.  She departed with two other Chinese warships on a mission to the Gulf of Aden near Somali on anti-pirate patrol on Friday.  Many in the West see this as a sign of renewed cooperation between China and other military powers.

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A Chinese naval task force departed from Sanya, a port in the nation’s southernmost province of Hainan, to fight pirates in waters off Somalia, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The ships sailed about 1:50 p.m. local time today, Xinhua reported. China is sending two destroyers and one supply ship supported by two helicopters, Senior Colonel Huang Xueping said on Dec. 23.

In the first 11 months of this year, 1,265 Chinese commercial ships passed through Somali waters, a fifth of which were assaulted by pirates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Dec. 18.

Pirates operate along Somalia’s Indian Ocean coast, as well as in the Gulf of Aden, a transit point for the 20,000 ships a year using the Suez Canal.

By James Peng: Bloomberg


Related:
 China Says It Needs an Aircraft Carrier for “Comprehensive Power”
.
China Tells Somalia Pirates It Will Use Force if Necessary
.
China Anti-Pirate Mission Another Step in International Engagement

U.S. admiral wants China military ties resumed

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/1
2/25/somalia.germany/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/as
iapcf/12/22/china.pirates/index.html

Somali Pirates Chased By German Warship, Helo

December 25, 2008

A German military helicopter chased away pirates on Thursday who were trying to board an Egyptian ship off the coast of Somalia. One of the ship’s crew was shot in the attack.

The bulk carrier with 31 crew was passing through the Gulf of Aden on its way to Asia when gun-toting pirates in a speedboat began pursuing it, said Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center.

On Friday, December 26, 2008, China started its anti-piracy deployment:
 China’s Naval Task Force Departs For Historic Near Africa Mission; International Hopes

By EILEEN NG, Associated Press Writer

A passing ship alerted the Kuala Lumpur-based bureau, which asked a multinational naval coalition force in the area to help, said Choong.

In response, the German navy frigate Karlsruhe dispatched a helicopter, a military spokesman said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

The pirates fled as the chopper reached the vessel, according to a statement from the German military, but not before shooting and injuring one the ship’s crew.

A second helicopter, carrying a medical team, retrieved the injured crew, who is now receiving treatment on the Karlsruhe, the statement said.

Piracy has taken an increasing toll on international shipping this year, especially in the Gulf of Aden — one of the world’s busiest sea lanes. Spurred by widespread poverty in their homeland, Somali pirates have made an estimated $30 million hijacking ships for ransom this year.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Dec25/0,4670,Piracy,00.html