Jason Dunham Seizes Illicit Arms in Gulf of Aden


Story Number: NNS180830-01Release Date: 8/30/2018 4:24:00 PM
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From U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet, seized an illicit shipment of arms from a stateless skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, on Aug. 28.

The skiff was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding, conducted in accordance with international law. Illicit cargo discovered by the Dunham’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team included over 1,000 weapons.

“Our ship routinely conducts maritime security operations with our highly-trained VBSS team incorporating both on and off ship intelligence assets to help locate vessels,” said Cmdr. John Hamilton, Dunham’s commanding officer. “Ensuring the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic and securing the sea lanes of communication continue to be paramount to the U.S. Navy and its regional partners and allies, and I am proud of Jason Dunham’s Sailors for accomplishing the mission.”

Dunham located a dhow transferring covered packages to a skiff on Aug. 27. On Aug. 28, Dunham conducted a flag verification boarding and determined the skiff to be a stateless vessel. Subsequently, the boarding team discovered a cache of over 1,000 AK-47 automatic rifles.

The skiff’s engines were inoperable, and the distressed mariners were brought aboard Dunham as part of a safety-of-life-at-sea (SOLAS) operation. The mariners were evaluated by the ship’s medical personnel and were uninjured.

The original source of the weapons has not yet been identified. The weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition.

The mariners were transferred to the Yemeni Coast Guard.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

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For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

 
RELATED PHOTOS
A visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) inspects a skiff as part of maritime security operations.
180828-N-PY230-0452 GULF OF ADEN (Aug. 28, 2018) A visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) inspects a skiff as part of maritime security operations. The stateless skiff was found carrying a shipment of over 1,000 illicit weapons. Jason Dunham is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist Matt Bodenner/Released)
August 30, 2018
RELATED VIDEO
180827-N-N0146-1001 GULF OF ADEN (Aug. 27, 2018) A dhow is seen transferring packages to a skiff in the Gulf of Aden. The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham’s (DDG 109) visit board and seizure team conducted a flag verification boarding aboard a dhow and skiff in accordance with customary international law, finding both vessels to be stateless, and over 1,000 weapons aboard the skiff. Dunham is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
August 30, 2018
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