An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Keyword
Category
Start & End Date

U.S. Navy Interdicts Stateless Vessel Previously Caught Smuggling Weapons

23 January 2022

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

MANAMA, Bahrain – On Jan. 18, U.S. 5th Fleet ships interdicted a stateless fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman that was caught smuggling illicit weapons off the coast of Somalia last year.

USS Cole (DDG 67) transfers control of a stateless fishing vessel to the Yemen Coast Guard in the Gulf of Oman.
GULF OF OMAN (Jan. 21, 2022) The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) transfers control of a stateless fishing vessel to the Yemen Coast Guard in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 21. (U.S. Navy photo)
USS Cole (DDG 67) transfers control of a stateless fishing vessel to the Yemen Coast Guard in the Gulf of Oman.
220121-N-N0146-1001
GULF OF OMAN (Jan. 21, 2022) The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) transfers control of a stateless fishing vessel to the Yemen Coast Guard in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 21. (U.S. Navy photo)
Photo By: NAVCENT/US 5th Fleet
VIRIN: 220121-N-N0146-1001
Guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) and patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) interdicted the stateless vessel transiting from Iran in waters outside of any state’s territorial sea along a route historically used to traffic weapons to the Houthis in Yemen.

During a flag verification boarding and subsequent search, U.S. forces discovered 40 tons of urea fertilizer, a chemical compound with agricultural applications that is also known to be used as an explosive precursor.

U.S. service members conduct a boarding on a stateless fishing vessel transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman as a rigid-hull inflatable boat and patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) station nearby.
GULF OF OMAN (Jan. 18, 2022) U.S. service members conduct a boarding on a stateless fishing vessel transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman as a rigid-hull inflatable boat and patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) station nearby, Jan. 18, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo)
U.S. service members conduct a boarding on a stateless fishing vessel transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman as a rigid-hull inflatable boat and patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) station nearby.
220118-N-N0146-1001
GULF OF OMAN (Jan. 18, 2022) U.S. service members conduct a boarding on a stateless fishing vessel transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman as a rigid-hull inflatable boat and patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) station nearby, Jan. 18, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo)
Photo By: U.S. Navy
VIRIN: 220118-N-N0146-1001
The vessel was the same stateless dhow interdicted in February 2021 off the coast of Somalia by guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and discovered to be carrying weapons. Among the cache of weapons seized during the February 2021 interdiction were thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, light machine guns, heavy sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and crew served weapons. The inventory also included barrels, stocks, optical scopes and weapon systems.

Following the Jan. 18 interdiction, the U.S. Navy transferred the vessel, cargo and five Yemeni crewmembers to Yemen Coast Guard officials Jan. 21.

U.S. naval forces regularly perform maritime security operations in the Middle East to ensure the free flow of legitimate trade and to disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and other unlawful activity.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses approximately 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Strait of Bab al Mandeb.

 

Google Translation Disclaimer

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon