Do not mess with the U.S. Navy. You'd think the rag-tag pirates of Somali, who love mugging defenseless commercial ships, would have enough sense not to bring a knife to a gun fight with the U.S. Navy.
But obviously these Somalis are not rocket scientists. Military.com quotes The Virginian-Pilot on the latest escapade by these clueless pirates.
The same week a Norfolk-based Navy frigate crew captured Somali pirates who fired on them, another Navy ship intercepted a group of pirates who tried to attack a tanker in the Somali Basin.
The destroyer Farragut was called to the scene of a Sierra Leone-flagged tanker after the ship came under attack by three pirate skiffs, according to a Navy news release. During the attack, the pirates fired rifles and aimed rocket-propelled grenades at the vessel. The Farragut is homeported in Mayport, Fla.
The tanker M.V. Evita was north and northwest of the Seychelles when the pirates tried to stop the ship, the Navy release says.
The ship evaded the pirates by increasing its speed and firing flares at them.
The captain called for help from maritime officials in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, the release says. Coalition forces were contacted and a Swedish patrol aircraft located the pirates.
An SH-60 B Seahawk helicopter from the Farragut went to monitor the situation while the skiffs were boarded. The crew of the Swedish patrol aircraft watched as the pirates threw equipment overboard.
Eleven pirates were found aboard the skiffs and allowed to leave after coalition forces ensured they had no other equipment to conduct attacks.
The mother skiff was sunk.
On Thursday, the Norfolk-based frigate Nicholas took small-arms fire from suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean. The ship returned fire and captured five pirates.
I was stationed aboard U.S. Navy destroyers from Mayport, Fla., and Norfolk, Va., during my four years of service 1967-71, so I understand exactly how those sailors in the Indian Ocean felt when they got to call to take on some pirates. "Oh yeah, let's go have some fun with our guns!"
The two Destroyers cited, the Nicholas and the Farragut, both have the same main cannon used on the USS Mullinnix, DD-944, that I served on during the Vietnam War, a 5-inch 54 caliber automatic gun that hurls 70 lbs. of high explosive TNT 16-20 miles with deadly accuracy.
Match that up against a bunch of idiots in skiffs with small arms and it is no contest. Yee hah!