Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Pirates, arg! I was in the US Navy and went to sea for a little while. While at sea we did not steam at flank speed, but actually cruised at slower than most freighters and tugs. It was called economy speed. The recent spike in piracy has many asking what can be done? Do we arm the merchant marine? Do we provide escorts?

The ocean is mighty big and you can only sea about 25 miles and at that range it is a pretty large area to search. These pirates are using small boats, grappling hooks and small arms. These last four seizures used mortars.

Some have said we cannot afford to have ships patrolling this area. If they are not patrolling that area, what area are they patrolling? What increase in cost is there to patrol there versus their normal patrol area? The USS Bainbridge was already over there, so what increase was there to the tax payer, three bullets? I got paid whether I was at sea or in port.

I have a proposal. Why not make sure those ships that are over there have an attack helicopter on board? This would increase the range and speed at which the Navy could respond to an act of piracy and cover a much larger area?

On the other hand, maybe we need to use a few C-130 gunships to take care of a few areas on land and reduce the number of pirates. I don’t know about you, but I think it is time to take care of Jack. It is time these pirates pick on someone their own size.


At 7:22 PM, Blogger Bob G. said...

Many of the ports these ships land at will not allow weapons...that does NOT mean that the merchant ships do not (or should not) HAVE any arms on board
They do.

The captain CAN always keep them under lock and key (for the master-At Arms to dispense when needed).

The presence of any "militar on ships to prevent hijacking/piracy would create more port-of-call roblems than fix, but one could always seek out the "private sector" for "piracy management", if you catch my drift.


At 11:29 PM, Blogger William Larsen said...

B.G. I was thinking more in terms of U.S. Navy having a few ships with attack helicopters maybe even multiple drones patrolling the skies controlled from each ship. After reading what I wrote, I was not clear on what ships would have helicopters.

I was on the USS Fox, CG-33 and we were supposed to have a helicopter. We were equipped for in-flight refueling, landing and storage.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Bob G. said...

It would make sense to have a Helo for an emergency dustoff/evac of the crew, or even someone in need of medical attention.
But I'm sure most companies can't front the cost and upkeep of them on EVERY merchant vessel.

But I DO think you're onto something with UAVs or UCAVs.

THAT will be the wave of the future.
And it's practical as all hell.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Scott Larsen said...

I say mount phalanx Gatling guns reprogrammed for small boats on the ships. Let the phalanx Gatling gun whale on the pirates when they approach. They might get a RPG fired off before the Gatling gun rips them to shreds. A RPD will do nothing to a big ship anyway. Just don't let the assholes in the small boats get close enough to board.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger William Larsen said...

"I say mount phalanx Gatling guns reprogrammed for small boats on the ships. Let the phalanx Gatling gun whale on the pirates when they approach."

I like that idea, but a word of caution. The drug runners off Florida used very fast boats that could out run the coast guard until finally the coast guard caught one and began using it against the drug runners.

The USS Fox had two phalanxes for close in defense for shooting down incoming missiles. If the pirates were to capture a vessel with one of these, there could be a mess, but then again they take special rounds which I would think would be difficult to get. In addition the uranium (non fuel grade) used in the shell is very heavy, making the pirates needing a much larger vessel. A larger vessel would be slower.

In the end I like the idea of cutting the pirates to ribbons with 8,000 rounds a minute. The sharks would surely like the results, less tearing apart on their part.


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