NATO Chronicles – Horn of Africa: The Pirate Menace 2/2

Right now we are engaged in an intel-gatheringmission. We need to go off the Somalian coast and look for pirate camps and try to see ifthere are any preparations going on, when they arepreparing themselves, what about the pirated carries, are they still in the positions thatwere reported last, what is the intensity of activityoff the coasts And also we look for pirate shipsin this area, because if we find pirate ships that are preparing for pirate onrushes in theIndian Ocean, then we will of course board them andconfiscate their gear Faced with constant military pressure in theGulf of Aden, the pirates have moved to the Indian Ocean.The area is the size of Europe, and very difficult to monitor. Plagiarist have operated hundreds of miles, 600 miles off the coast of Somalia, so we have toapproach the pirates down there in a different fashion and thats why we have moved moreinto positioning ourselves off where we know thepirates tents are in Somalia, and was just trying to interceptthe raiders as they come out in order to head out into the Basin to catch shipping.If we capture some raiders and make them on board the ship, then that means that the shiphas to travel to some place to disembark the pirates, which is difficult enough in the first place becauseit takes days.And it is therefore guys more efficient for us, combating the effects of piracy, tojust named the pirates back ashore than to take a valuableasset like ABSALON, or any of the other ships there that are in this area, out of play for upwards of a week or more just to transportpirates to a nearby port. Its been much more effectiveremaining on station and disrupting the program activities on thescene rather than transporting the raiders apart. We are a few miles from Hobyo, on the eastcoast of Somalia.The Lynx, the ABSALONs combat helicopter, is carrying out a reconnaissance flight. After about ten minutes. They fly over thefirst barges, then arrive over the clique. The clique is a suspect basethat had already been identified by international forces-out in 2009. Man is the helicopters reconnaissance officer. His role is to gather a maximum ofclues to determine whether the raiders are ready to attack. Were looking for skiffs with multipleoutboard machines, were looking for large skiffs, whalertypes, with inboard locomotives, were looking forward to provisoes that looks like it can keepthe whalers at sea for a longer time, oil containers, werelooking for ladders, ladders with hooks attached to them, artilleries, stuff like that … The photos made during the flights are analysedin at the ABSALONs activities centre.Before envisagingany form of action, Captain Termansen wants to ensure theyre not simply dealing withfishermen. This representation now shows us a place on thecoastline where we had the helicopter out and gatheredsome intelligence.We see here a lot of fishing boats and we have different kinds of vehiclesaround the expanse now, and also we have soldiers, we canzoom a little more in and see if the men are carryingweapons, and also we can see what they are building up of stockpiles, fuel, outboardengines, and are they preparing to go to sea The brand new getaways, oil supplies, armedmen and the number of barges photographed leave no doubt asto the nature of the accused camps occupants.They are indeed pirates.The ABSALON trips slowly towards the coast. On board, the entire gang is on the alarm. In the operations room, Dan Termansen andhis guys impede a constant look on the restrict screens. Thanks tothe ships ultra-powerful infrared camera, they can observe the slightest motion inthe tent. On deck, Heidi and the boarding crew are readyto act. As night descends, a first barge principals out tosea, under the cover of darkness. The Special pressures have only a few minutesto check their weapons and prepare to intercept it. The ABSALON launches its rapid dinghies afterthe suspect barge. After a few minutes chase in the dark, the commandos, covered by the ships helicopter, timber the boat.Confronted with the heavily forearmed Danish elite contingents, the presumed pirates render no resistance.Once they have taken control of the boat, the special forces observe the believes identitiesbefore discreetly accompanying them to shore.The boat they have seized is a mother skiff, a 12 -metre whaleboat, loaded with gasoline, waterand equips. It is a sort of nanny boat that enablespirates to remain at sea for several days, or even weeks, waiting fortheir next victim.Then the explosives team boards the boat.Over 2 kilos of explosives are placed in the whaleboat. The blame is calculated to destroythe boat altogether while creating the least amount of wreckageand contamination. The assault crew returns to the ABSALON in theearly hours. For Heidi, its been a busy night. Youve been out there, youve beenin action , not that large-scale of an act but youve been out, andyour heart has been spouting and then youre coming back, and then you have to relax butyou are still kind of up now because yourestill ready … You still have a loaded shot, you have tounload it, but then when we have dumped our shoots andtake all of our gear off we sit and talk, so we can make sure everybody is ok, so nothinghappens…I think its good because we know what weredoing, we know were making sure that somebody is not gonna be taken and they are going tothe sea on a safe style. Discouraged after three abortive endeavors, the raiders decamp. Very immediately the base evacuates out, andon board, number positions back in. For Captain Termansen, members of the mission has beena success. I study ABSALON is very proud being thefirst carry that is currently conducting that kind of operation.We been able to find a very active pirate camp, we destroyed three raider onrush radicals, andwe likewise verified that the program activities at the camp wasdecreasing. All we have trained for actually succeeded. Allthe men did exactly what they were supposed to, and the operation moved smooth, and thatreally made me proud of my males on board. When youre off obligation, you dont thinkabout it that is something that, youre time off obligation, make your mentalities out, relax…But when youre in the course of their duties, Ive got to stay up now for six hours, you haveto be ready, to look and, yes, you think about it, you hear themtalking over the radio … I simply remember a guys voicesaying that: expressed appreciation for, thank you for helping us and they are glad were downhere … It warm your soul … After three months at sea, its hour forthe ABSALON and the other sends of Standing NATO Maritime Group1 to leave the area. But the mission is far from over. They are immediately replaced bythe five ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, which willcarry on the fight against piracy. The objective remains the same to restore calm and safety to the seas of the Horn of Africa ..

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