West Africa is home to the world’s most violent pirates—who are now capable of overwhelming armed guards. Last month pirates killed a crewmember during an attack on German-owned oil tanker. Instead of fighting off the pirates, the embarked security team retreated to the ship’s citadel safe room. Read More
This is the second in a two part series on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The first ten weeks of 2014 have witnessed the resurgence of maritime kidnap-for-ransom off the coast of Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
This is the first of a two-part series on piracy in West Africa.
In the early hours of 18 January 2014 a 75,000-ton tanker, the MT Kerala, vanished off the coast of Angola. A sophisticated pirate gang hijacked the Greek-owned vessel, disabling its identifications system and communication equipment, and painting over its identifying markers.
More than a week later and 1,300 miles away, the hijackers released Kerala off the coast of Nigeria, after offloading 12,270 tons of its diesel cargo to other ships. Read More
After four days of intense fighting, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal decided to leave the comforts of his quarters on Adm. R.K. Turner’s flagship, the amphibious force command ship Eldorado, to go ashore and witness firsthand the final stages of the Marine Corps’ success on the island. Read More
The kidnapping of two American mariners on Oct. 23 does not signal the rise of a new piracy threat off Nigeria, but rather the re-emergence of an old one
U.S. news outlets were quick to proclaim piracy is now “skyrocketing” off the West African nation.
But those types of blanket statements fail to capture the fluid nuances of maritime crime in the region, which has largely decreased in the past few years. Read More
In the early years of this nation, President Thomas Jefferson found himself involved in one of the first conflicts overseas in the First Barbary War.
Jefferson, one of the first true isolationists, was reluctant to deploy forces in foreign engagements. However, faced with the demanding security of our merchant fleet and the growing concerns regarding our fragile economy, Jefferson had no choice but to protect the free flow of commerce and deploy the Navy. Read More
The U.S. and China conducted two days of counter piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden in a rare show of military cooperation, following last week’s visit of the head of the Chinese Ministry of Defense. Read More
In September 1960, the carrier Enterprise was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock. Adm. Arleigh Burke, then chief of naval operations, spoke to the large crowd, saying, “Whenever the Enterprise roams in the traditional freedom of the seas, she is the sovereign of the United States, a mighty symbol of our determination to preserve liberty and justice and a clear sign of our nation’s ability to do so.” Read More
The winds of global piracy have shifted, as attacks by pirates off West Africa now exceed those of their Somali counterparts. The Nigeria-based pirates may not yet inspire Hollywood films, but they have prompted regional governments to take collective action. A June 24–25 summit in Yaounde, Cameroon, brought representatives from the Economic Community of West African States, the Economic Community of Central African States, and the Gulf of Guinea Commission together to draft a code of conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity. It has been signed by 22 states. Read More