Shades of 'Captain Phillips': Navy SEALS retake another seized merchant ship | Arkansas Blog

Shades of 'Captain Phillips': Navy SEALS retake another seized merchant ship

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LIKE THE MOVIE: Navy assets were deployed -- as in this shot from 'Captain Phillips' -- to retake a tanker seized by armed Libyans.
  • LIKE THE MOVIE: Navy assets were deployed -- as in this shot from 'Captain Phillips' -- to retake a tanker seized by armed Libyans.
No Arkansas angle here but this headline jumped out on a review of news this slow, frosty morning: The Defense Department announced that a team of Navy SEALs had taken control of of an oil tanker seized earlier this month  by armed Libyans.

From the Department of Defense:

"No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans.

"The boarding operation, approved by President Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cypress, was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe.

"The SEAL team embarked and operated from the guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80). USS Roosevelt provided helicopter support and served as a command and control and support platform for the other members of the force assigned to conduct the mission.

"The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company. The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained from the Libyan port of As-Sidra.

"The Morning Glory will be underway soon to a port in Libya with a team of sailors from the USS Stout (DDG-55) embarked. The sailors will be supervising the transit.

"USS Roosevelt is homeported in Mayport, Fla. and is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group. USS Stout is homeported in Norfolk, Va."

The situation isn't directly analogous to the hijackings off the coast of Somalia where ships have been taken for ransom, as in the movie starring Tom Hanks. The New York Times explains  that this ship was taken by breakaway Libyan militia and the action is intertwined with the shaky state of the Libyan transitional government. A cheer for the SEALs regardless.


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