By CNN Wire Staff, from CNN website, March 6, 2011
A U.S. Navy ship came to the rescue of an oil tanker in the Indian Ocean on Saturday after four suspected pirates climbed aboard.
The Japanese-owned MV Guanabara reported it was under attack Friday afternoon 328 nautical miles southeast of Oman, the Navy said. The Guanabara had 24 crew members aboard.
The warship USS Bulkeley, assigned to the Combined Maritime Forces' CTF-151 counter-piracy mission, was directed to intercept the Guanabara, supported by the Turkish warship TCG Giresun of NATO's counter-piracy task force.
After Guanabara's master confirmed to the Bulkeley that his crew had taken refuge in the ship's citadel room, or secure compartment, the Bulkeley's specialist boarding team climbed aboard Saturday, detained the four men and secured the vessel, the Navy said.
There was no exchange of fire at any time during the operation, and an SH-60 Seahawk helicopter supported the boarding team from the air, the Navy added.
Officials said they are still deciding what to do with the suspected pirates. The U.S. Navy did not disclose the nationalities of those detained or where they were being taken.
"Through our mutual cooperation and shared coordination, CTF-151 and our partner organizations has prevented the kidnapping of legitimate mariners who sought only to go peacefully about their business," said CMF's counter-piracy commander, Commodore Abdul Alheem. "Today, there will be a merchant ship sailing freely that would not be doing so were it not for the efforts of CTF-151."
The Combined Maritime Forces is a naval partnership of 25 member nations including the United States that works to disrupt piracy and armed robbery and improve security in international waters off the Middle East.
Here is one theatre of the globe in which the military might, especially when combined through the co-operation of some twenty five countries, must continue doing this kind of exemplary work.
But there is more to do on the land in Somalia where the people do not have either food or work, to enable them to purchase the food necessary to live.
This kind of story makes more dramatic headlines than the kind of diplomacy that would result in enriching the training and deploying of Somalis to develop their own economic potential, to feed their own people and to voluntarily withdraw from the kind of piracy that compels such a raid and seizure, along with many already captured ships, including several deaths, from other incidents of piracy in this region of the world's oceans.
While there is much about multinational corporations that is reprehensible, the shipping lanes through which those corporations transport their freight, including their oil freight on which so many people and countries depend must be returned to a state of uninterrupted right of passage.
And the young perpetrators of these acts of piracy must, through a similar co-operative and collaborative initiative among as many of the world nations and leaders as it takes to accomplish, return to a life of minimal normalcy. And that can and will only happen through a different kind of "foreign aid" than the kind that has been the norm over the last several decades. The new "assistance" must not be hand-outs, and tankers full of cash but rather educational entrepreneurial initiatives that assist in the development of independent, sefl-sustaining and legitimate enterprises, both public and private, through which food, health care and resourceful economies can be seeded by the indigenous people, grown by those same people, and eventually harvested by those people.
The world is watching and waiting!