Forums / Political & Legal / Somali Pirate New Info, sounds very credible. Courtesy of Dave LLE

8 years 46 weeks ago, 8:31 PM


samD's picture

Join Date:
Aug 2008
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States

Flint, the writer of this message is a former Green Beret Captain who served three tours in Vietnam. He then spent 20 years with Az DPS, part
of which time he was on the department SWAT team during my ten-year
tenure. Retired as a District Commander in Tucson. Now lives in Oklahoma.

This is the account given to him by his Special Ops contacts of what the American crew went through off the coast of Somalia. Interesting stuff!

This sounds like the real story as it fits with other accounts but makes more sense.

Your "Real" story is not exactly the way I heard it, and probably has a few political twists thrown in to stir the pot. Rather than me trying to correct it, I'll just tell you what I found out from my contacts at NSWC Norfolk and at SOCOM Tampa.

First though, let me orient you to familiarize you with the "terrain."

In Africa from Djibouti at the southern end of the Red Sea eastward through the Gulf of Aden to round Cape Guardafui at the easternmost tip of Africa (also known as "The Horn of Africa") is about a 600 nm transit before you stand out into the Indian Ocean. That transit is comparable in distance to that from the mouth of the Mississippi at New Orleans to the tip of Florida at Key West-- except that 600 nm over there is infested with Somalia pirates.

Ships turning southward at the Horn of Africa transit the SLOC (Sea Lane of Commerce) along the east coast of Somalia because of the prevailing southerly currents there. It's about 1,500 nm on to Mombassa, which is just south of the equator in

Kenya. Comparably, that's about the transit distance from Portland

Maine down the east coast of the US to Miami Florida. In

other words, the ocean area being patrolled by our naval forces off

the coast of Somalia is comparable to that in the Gulf of Mexico from the

Mississippi River east to Miami then up the eastern seaboard to


Second, let me

globally orient you from our Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, VA, east

across the Atlantic to North Africa, thence across the Med to Suez in

Egypt, thence southward down the Red Sea to Djibouti at the Gulf of Aden,

thence eastward to round Cape Guardafui at the easternmost tip of Africa,

and thence southerly some 300 miles down the east cost of Somali out into

the high seas of the Indian Ocean to the position of MV ALABAMA is a

little more than 7,000 nm, and plus-nine time-zones ahead of


Hold that

thought, in that, a C-17 transport averaging

a little better than 400 kts (SOG) takes the best part

of 18 hours to make that trip. In the evening darkness late

Thursday night, a team of Navy SEALs from NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare

Center) Norfolk parachuted from such a C-17 into the black

waters (no refraction of light) of the Indian Ocean-- close-aboard to

our 40,000 ton amphibious assault ship, USS BOXER (LHD

4), the flagship of our ESG (Expeditionary Strike Group) in

the AOR (Area Of Responsibility, the Gulf of Aden). They not

only parachuted in with all of their "equipment," they had their own

inflatable boats, RHIB's (Rigid Hull, Inflatable Boats) with them for

over-water transport. They went into BOXER's landing dock, debarked,

and staged for the rescue-- Thursday night.

And, let

me comment on time-late: In that the

SEAL's quick response-- departing ready-alert in less than 4

hours from Norfolk-- supposedly surprised POTUS's staff, whereas

President Obama was miffed not to get his "cops" there before the

Navy. He reportedly questioned his

staff, "Will 'my' FBI people get there before the Navy

does?" It took the FBI almost 12 hours to put together a

team and get them packed-up-- for an "at sea"

rescue. The FBI was trying to tell him that they are not

practiced to do this-- Navy SEALs are. But, BHO wanted the FBI

there "to help," that is, carry out the Attorney General's (his)

orders to negotiate the release of Captain Phillips peacefully-- because

apparently he doesn't trust GW's military to carry out

his "political guidance."

The flight of

the FBI's passenger jet took a little less than 14 hours at

500-some knots to get to Djibouti. BOXER'S helos picked them up

and transported them out to the ship. The Navy SEALs were already

there, staged, and ready to act by the time POTUS's FBI arrived

on board latter that evening. Notably, the first request by the OSC

(On Scene Commander) that early Friday morning to take them out and save

Captain Phillips was denied, to wit: "No, wait until 'my' FBI

people get there."

Third, please

consider a candid assessment of ability that finds that the FBI

snipers had never practiced shooting from a rolling, pitching,

yawing, surging, swaying, heaving platform-- and, target-- such as a

ship and a lifeboat on the high seas. Navies have been

doing since Admiral Nelson who had trained "Marines" to shoot muskets from

the ship's rigging-- ironically, he was killed at sea in HMS VICTORY at

the Battle of Trafalgar by a French Marine rifleman that shot him from the

rigging of the French ship that they were grappling


Notably, when I

was first training at USNA in 1955, the Navy was doing it with a

SATU, Small Arms Training Unit, based at our Little Creek amphib

base. Now, Navy SEAL's, in particular SEAL Team SIX (The "DevGru")

based at NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) at Little Creek do

that training now, and hone their skills professionally--

daily. Shooting small arms from a ship is more of

an accomplished "Art Form" than it is a practiced skill. When

you are "in the bubble" and "in tune" with the harmonic motion you

find, through practice, that you are "able to put three .308

slugs inside the head of a quarter at 100 meters, in day or night--

or, behind a camouflaged net or a thin enclosure, such as a

superstructure bulkhead. Yes, we have the monocular scopes that

can "see" heat-- and, draw a bead on it. SEALs are absolutely expert

at it-- with the movie clips to prove it.

Okay, now try

to imagine patrolling among the boats fishing everyday out on

the Grand Banks off our New England coast, and then responding

to a distress call from down around the waters between Florida and the

Bahamas. Three points for you to consider here: (1)

Time-Distance-Speed relationships for ships on the high seas, for

instance, at a 25-knot SOA (Speed Of Advance) it takes 24 hours to make

good 600 nm-- BAINBRIDGE did. (2) Fishermen work on the high

seas, and (3) The best place to hide as a "fisherman" pirate is among

other fishermen

Early Wednesday morning, 4/8/2009, MV

ALABAMA is at sea in the IO about 300 miles off the (east) coast

of Somalia en route to Mombassa Kenya. Pirates in small boat

start harassing her, and threatening her with weapons. MV ALABAMA's

captain sent out the distress call by radio, and ordered his Engineer to

shut down the engines as well as the ship-service electrical

generators-- in our lingo, "Go dark and cold." He informed his crew

by radio what was happening, and ordered them to go

to an out-of-the-way compartment and lock themselves in it-- from the

inside. He would stay in the pilot house to "negotiate"

with the pirates.

The pirates boarded,

captured the Captain, and ordered him to start the engines. He said

he would order his Engineer to do so, and he called down to Engine Control

on the internal communication system, but got no answer. The lead

pirate ordered two of his four men to go down and find him and get the

engines started.

Inside a ship without any lights is like the

definition of dark. The advantage goes to the people who work and

live there. They jumped the two pirates in a dark passageway.

Both pirates lost their weapons, but one managed to scramble and get

away. The other they tied up, put tape over his mouth and

a knife at his throat.

Other members of the crew opened the

drain cocks on the pirates boat and cast it adrift. It

foundered and sunk. The scrambling pirate made it back to the

pilot house and told of his demise. The pirates took the Captain at

gun point, and told him to launch one of his rescue boats (not a life

boat, per se). As he was lowering the boat for them, the

crew appeared with the other pirate to negotiate a trade.

The crew let their hostage go to soon, and the pirates kept the

captain. But, he purposefully had lowered the boat so it

would jam.

With the rescue boat jammed, the pirates jumped

over to a lifeboat and released it as the captain jumped in the

water. They fired at him, made him stop, and grabbed him out

of the water. Now, as night falls in the vastness of the Indian

Ocean, we have the classic "Mexican" standoff, to wit: A life-boat

that is just that, a life-boat adrift without any means of propulsion

except oars and paddles; and, a huge (by comparison) Motor Vessel

Container Ship adrift with a crew that is not going to leave their captain

behind. The pirates are enclosed under

its shelter-covering, holding the captain as their

hostage. The crew is hunkered down in their ship waiting for the

"posse" to arrive.

After receiving MV ALABAMA'S

distress call, USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG 96) was dispatched by the ESG

commander to respond to ALABAMA's distress call. At best

sustainable speed, she arrived on scene the day after-- that is, in

the dark of that early Thursday morning. As

BAINBRIDGE quietly and slowly, at darkened-ship without any

lights to give her away, arrived on scene, please consider a

recorded interview with the Chief Engineer of MV ALABAMA

describing BAINBRIDGE's arrival. He said it was something

else "... to see the Navy slide in there like a

greyhound!" He then said as she

slipped in closer he could see the "Stars and Stripes" flying from

her masthead. He got choked up saying it was

the "...proudest

moment of my life."


Let that sink in.
Earlier in the

day, one of the U.S. Navy's Maritime Patrol Aircraft, a fixed wing

P3C, flew over to recon the scene. They dropped a buoy with a

radio to the pirates so that the Navy's interpreter could talk with the

pirates. When BAINBRIDGE arrived, the pirates thought the radio to

be a beaconing device, and threw it overboard. They wanted a

satellite telephone so that they could call home for help. Remember

now, they are fishermen, not "Rocket Scientists," in that, they don't

know that we can intercept the phone transmission also.


ALABAMA provided them with a satellite phone. They called

home back to "somebody" in Eyl Somalia (so that we now know where you

live) to come out and get them. The "somebody" in Eyl said they

would be out right away with other hostages, like 54 of them from

other countries, and that they would be coming out in two of their

pirated ships. Right-- and, the tooth fairy will let you have sex

with her. Yea, in paradise. The "somebody" in Eyl

just chalked up four more expendables as overhead for "the cost of

operation." Next page.

Anyway, ESG will continue

to "watch" Eyl for any ships standing out.

The Navy SEAL

team, SEAL TEAM SIX, from NSWC briefed the OSC (Commander Castellano, CO

BAINBRIDGE) on how they could rescue the captain from the life boat with

swimmers-- "Combat Swimmers," per se. That plan was denied by POTUS

because it put the captain in danger-- and, involved killing the


The FBI negotiators arrived on scene,

and talked the pirates into sending their wounded man over for

treatment Saturday morning. Later that afternoon, the

SEAL's sent over their RHIB with food and water to recon the

life boat but the pirates shot at it. They could have taken them out

then (from being fired upon) but were denied again being told

that the captain was not in "imminent danger." The FBI

negotiators calmed the situation by informing the pirates of

threatening weather as they could see storm clouds closing from the

horizon, and offered to tow the life boat. The pirates agreed, and

BAINBRIDGE took them under tow in their wake at 30 meters-- exactly 30

meters, which is exactly the distance the SEALs practice their shooting


With the lifeboat under tow, riding comfortably

bow-down on BAINBRIDGE's wake-wave ("rooster tail"), had a 17-second

period of harmonic motion, and at the end of every half-period (8.5

seconds) was steady on. The light-enhanced (infra-red heat)

monocular scopes on the SEAL's .308 caliber Mark 11 Mod 0 H&K

suppressor-fitted sniper rifles easily imaged their target very

clearly. Pirates in a life boat at 30-meters could be compared to

fish in a barrel. All that was necessary was to take out the

plexiglass window so that it would not deflect the trajectory of the high

velocity .308 round. So, a sniper (one of four) with a

wad-cutter round (a flaxen sabot) would take out the window a split

second before the kill-shot-- no change in sight-picture, just the

window blowing out, clean.

Now, here's the part BHO's

"whiz kids" knew as well as the Navy hierarchy, including CO

BAINBRIDGE and CO SEAL TEAM SIX. It's the law in Article 19 of

Appendix L in the "Convention of the High Seas" that the Commanding

Officer of a US Ship on the high seas is obligated to respond to

distress signals from any flagged ship (US or otherwise), and protect the

life and property thereof when deemed to be in IMMINENT DANGER.

So, in the final analysis, it would be Captain Castellano call as to

"Imminent Danger," and that he alone was obligated (duty bound) to act


Got the picture?

After medically

attending to the wounded pirated, and feeding him, come first light (from

the east) on Easter Sunday morning and the pirates saw they were being

towed further out to sea (instead of westward toward land), the

wounded pirate demanded to be returned to the

lifeboat. There would BE NO more negotiations-- and, the

four Navy SEAL snipers "in the bubble" went "Unlock." The

pirate holding Captain Philips raised the gun to his head,

and IMMINENT DANGER was so observed and noted in the Log as CO

BAINBRIDGE gave the classic order: WEAPONS RELEASED! I

can hear the echo in my earpiece now, "On my count (from 8.5

seconds), 3, 2, 1, !" POP, BANG! Out went the

window, followed by three simultaneous shots. The scoreboard



I hope you found the above informative as best I know

it-- and, please excuse me in that after more than 50 years the

Navy is still in me. I submit that AMERICA is going to

make a comeback, and more than likely it'll be on the back of our

cherished youth serving with honor in Our military. So,

Look Up, Get Up-- and, Never Give


8 years 46 weeks ago, 9:53 PM


fordvg's picture

Join Date:
Oct 2008
Fancy Farm, Kentucky, United States
Very good article samD

just like I thought bho was screwing up things again with the Navy and poor Captain Phillips. Like the FBI is going to make that kind of a shoot. Plus, the FBI is out of they league when it comes to Navy SEAL's snipers at sea.

"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.
8 years 46 weeks ago, 10:01 PM


ivantank's picture

Join Date:
Feb 2009
lancaster, south carolina, United States
hey samD..

really good read boss, I never served but the navy has always been my favorite

I have reasons for the things I do, just don't expect them to be reasonable
8 years 46 weeks ago, 10:01 PM


runawaygun762's picture

Vice President
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Richland, MO, United States

It sounds plausible, but then again, us normal folks may never know the whole story.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
8 years 46 weeks ago, 12:43 PM


Gunnin88's picture

Major General
Join Date:
Jan 2009
Belfair, Washington
Not true

The captain of the boat did and interveiw this AM on the Today show. Was not even close to this description.

01*20*2013 Obamas last day!
8 years 46 weeks ago, 12:45 PM


samD's picture

Join Date:
Aug 2008
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States

Of the Alabama or the Naval Captain

8 years 46 weeks ago, 1:12 PM


Gunnin88's picture

Major General
Join Date:
Jan 2009
Belfair, Washington


He noted the guy in the captains chair was sleeping, then he saw the guy on the fan tail set his AK down and started taking a piss, at which point he saw his opportunity and knocked the pissing guy into the water. He grabbed his AK but had no idea how to use it ,so he tossed it in the water, and he himself jumped in and tried to swim for safety. One person in the crew did stab a pirate in the hand at some point.

01*20*2013 Obamas last day!

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