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SEALs Take Control of Hijacked Tanker

Morning Glory was seized by Navy SEALs late Sunday evening.

Morning Glory was seized by Navy SEALs late Sunday evening.

A team of U.S. Navy SEALs took control of a commercial oil tanker that was seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans late Sunday night, according to a Monday release from the Pentagon.

“No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby.
“The boarding operation, approved by President Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cyprus, was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe.”

The SEALs team operated from guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) which provided helicopter support and command and control for the team.

View Libyan Navy Oil Blockade in a larger map

The ship was carrying oil from the country’s largest oil terminal, Es Sider. The terminal has been out of the Libyan National Oil Company’s (NOC) control for almost nine months.

The seizure of Morning Glory is the latest incident in a almost 9 month protest of three oil terminals on the Libyan coast.

The terminals — Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zuweitina — in Eastern Libya are being controlled by armed groups calling for a greater share in oil revenue from the NOC.

The ship and cargo will now be sent to, “a port in Libya with a team of sailors from the USS Stout (DDG-55) embarked. The sailors will be supervising the transit,” according statement.


Categories: Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, Piracy, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About USNI News Editor

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.