USS BOXER, At Sea (NNS) -- Following an eight-month deployment, Sailors aboard HDMS Absalon (L-16) are returning home to Denmark.
Absalon spent the last time of their deployment participating in Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, a multinational task force conducting counterpiracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
During her deployment and her time with CTF 151, Absalon made contact with more than 80 suspected pirates during the deployment period, confiscating nearly 60 weapons and eight boarding ladders to be used as evidence in the prosecution of the suspected pirates.
"The Absalon and her crew did a magnificent job making the Gulf of Aden safer for the free flow of commerce," said Rear Adm. Terence McKnight, commander, CTF 151. "The ship itself was extremely versatile, making her able to respond quickly and efficiently to any distress calls her crew received."
As part of CTF 151, Absalon worked alongside ships from the United States and Turkey while coordinating with approximately 20 nations operating within the Gulf of Aden.
"There was one day when a distress call came over the international frequency saying that a motor vessel was being attacked by a pirate skiff," said Capt. Dan B. Termansen, Absalon's commanding officer. "We had our helicopter up and on scene, and the Turkish frigate Giresun put theirs up as well. With both helicopters on scene and the Absalon closing in, we were able to protect that vessel and keep them from getting pirated.
"Regardless of what flag a Navy ship may be flying out here, we're all working together to fight a problem that affects everyone," Termansen continued.
McKnight spent an afternoon on Absalon recently to thank Termansen and his crew for a job well done.
"Having the Absalon out here made a huge difference," said McKnight. "They were able to get to the scene of distress calls quickly; they were able to put a helicopter in the sky to spot suspect skiffs, and they had an outstanding special forces capability that allowed them to quickly and safely board suspect skiffs.
"Their hard work and fast response capabilities were invaluable to our mission out here," McKnight continued. "Absalon and her crew made life very difficult for pirates and a lot easier for us in 151."
For more news from Task Force 151, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf-151.