First Norfolk Piracy Sentence in 150 Years

US Navy photo of the Ashland by Paul Farley. Public domain image of the Rack Rackham pirate flag from Wikipedia.

Today, November 29, marks the first sentencing for the crime of piracy in Norfolk, Virginia, in 150 years.

The incident occurred off the coast of Djibouti on April 10 of this year. The ship involved was the USS Ashland, a 610-foot, 11,000-ton Whidbey Island-class Dock Landing Ship of the United States Navy. She carries two Mark 38 25-millimeter autocannons, two 20-mm Gatling close-in-weapons-system (CIWS) Phalanx mounts to take down anti-ship missiles, a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile System, and six fifty-caliber M2 Browning machine guns. It was part of the task force of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

The pirates were seven Somalis in a skiff, firing small arms.

How does a Somali pirate skiff find itself attacking a heavily-armed US warship? See…that’s the moral of the story. Bad intel.




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