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Cablegate: Counter-Piracy: Nato Successfully Works with The

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OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHNO #0354/01 2311049
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191049Z AUG 09
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3302
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
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INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0278
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0544
RUEHAN/AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO PRIORITY 0007
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA PRIORITY 0035
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0393
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM PRIORITY 0065
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY 0056
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA PRIORITY 0173
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0829
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT PRIORITY 0043
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1024
RHMFIUU/USNMR SHAPE BE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 USNATO 000354

SIPDIS

PASS TO THE DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION, JUSTICE, AND
COMMERCE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EWWT PHSA NATO MOPS MCAP SO XA
SUBJECT: COUNTER-PIRACY: NATO SUCCESSFULLY WORKS WITH THE
EU AND OTHERS TO THWART PIRATES

REF: USNATO 353

1. (U) Even before the August 17 commencement of Operation
Ocean Shield, NATO's recently agreed long-term contribution
to international counter-piracy efforts (reftel), NATO's
efforts off the Horn of Africa have been yielding positive
results. These results are often only possible because of
the close coordination which has been established in the
field between NATO vessels and other international
counter-piracy forces, including those of the EU. On August
13, for example, a combined NATO-EU operation foiled an
attack on a Turkish flagged merchant vessel. On July 24, two
Turkish warships--one attached to NATO and the other attached
to CTF-151--joined forces with a German (EU) maritime patrol
aircraft, and a helicopter from an Indian warship to stop and
board a pirate skiff. Additional details of these events can
be found in the press releases reported in paras 2 and 3
below.

2. (U) On August 14, the website of the Allied Maritime
Component Command Headquarters Northwood (MCC Northwood)
carried the following story of NATO-EU counter-piracy
cooperation:

BEGIN TEXT

14 Aug 09

Combined NATO-EU Operation Foils Piracy Attack

Dramatic events in the Gulf of Aden last night demonstrated
the level of co-operation that now exists between the
international counter piracy forces in that region.
Following an approach by pirates, the Turkish flagged
merchant vessel ELGIZ NUR CEBI issued a distress call. The
rapid, determined and coordinated response by both NATO and
EU forces however foiled the attack.

The Commander of the NATO Task Force, Commodore Steve Chick
Royal Navy said: "With warships patrolling the International
Recognized Transit Corridor and surveillance aircraft
operating overhead we now have the ability to seamlessly
coordinate our response to any pirate attack with the EU and
other international counter piracy forces."

In this case both NATO and the European Union Maritime Force
(EUMARFOR) units swept into action. Closest to the scene,
the NATO warship HS NAVARINON, quickly closed in on pirate
craft. In a coordinated action with a helicopter from the
German warship FGS BREMEN, working for EUMARFOR, the pirate
craft was quickly stopped in the water.

USNATO 00000354 002 OF 004

Specially trained boarding teams from HS NAVARINON boarded
the vessel and went on to find extensive stocks of weapons
including RPGs and other piracy equipment.

Commodore Chick continued: "The variety of weapons found in
the pirate craft today demonstrates the dangers that these
pirates pose to merchant ships and their crew. Successful
hijackings usually follow a prolonged attack by small arms
and sometimes RPGs. In these circumstances the risk of
injury or death of the crew is very real. As a minimum we
will always take measures to ensure that their weapons are
destroyed so as to deny their future use."

Whilst the pirates were being dealt with by the 2 warships, a
French MPA, also working for EUMARFOR conducted an area
search to locate any potential pirate support ships operating
in the area; none were found on this occasion. The NATO
Warship TCG GEDIZ closed the merchant vessel to provide any
assistance that might have been required. Further afield,
other merchant traffic was alerted to the increased risk of
attack from the UK Maritime Trade Organisation operations
centre based in Dubai.

Commodore Chick said: "This incident is an excellent example
of how far the collaboration betwen the international counter
piracy forces has developed over the last year. The use of
common communication systems and the rapid exchange of
information between our forces fully underpins our ability to
deal robustly with the piracy threat."

END TEXT

(Note: The HS NAVARINON is a Greek frigate.)

3. (U) The MCC Northwood webiste carried the following July
27 Press Release, detailing an operation in which NATO worked
successfully with EU, TF-151, and Indian forces:

BEGIN TEXT

News Release

Ref: SNMG2 2009/04 27th July 2009

Multinational effort turns heat on the pirates

Close cooperation between NATO units and other forces is
disrupting pirate activities in the Gulf of Aden. Key to
this success has been the ability of naval and air assets
from different nations to respond rapidly to any detection of

USNATO 00000354 003 OF 004


pirate activity.

To emphasise this, on 24th July, the Turkish warships (sic)
GEDIZ, deployed as part of NATO's counter piracy effort was
alerted to the presence of a pirate skiff by a German
maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) working on behalf of the EU
Maritime Force. With the presence of pirate equipment on
board, as well as weapons, it was clear that this particular
vessel was intent on boarding and hijacking a merchant ship.

As GEDIZ responded, the helicopter from the Indian warship
GODAVARI, also in the area, circled the pirates at close
quarters despite being fired upon by small arms. Further
helicopter support was also provided by the Turkish warship,
GAZIANTEP working as part of the multinational Force.
Following a high speed chase and the firing of warning shots
the pirate skiff was eventually stopped and boarded by forces
from the GEDIZ. With much of their equipment having been
ditched overboard prior to boarding it was clear that another
pirate attack had been disrupted.

The Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2)
Commodore Steve Chick (Royal Navy) said "This episode is an
outstanding example of the close cooperation that exists
between NATO and the other other allied and multinational
forces in the region. The fact that GEDIZ was able to
rapidly coordinate the activities of units from 4 different
Task Forces into a cohesive plan is not only a testament to
that ship but alos to the international resolve to defeat
piracy."

As part of the same incident GODAVARI went on to board a dhow
that was suspected of being a pirate mother ship. Nothing
was found onboard and the vessel was later released.

These events follow on from successes by HMS Cornwall who
recently gave chase to a pirate skiff after being cued onto
it by a French MPA. With clear evidence of pirate
paraphernalia on board the NATO flagship pursued the pirates
for 2 hours at 28 knots before forcing them to stop.
Although the sea state prevented the vessel from being
boarded, the pirates jettisoned all their weapons and
equipment in to the sea to avoid prosecution.

HMS Cornwall's Commanding Officer, Commander Johnny Ley
(Royal Navy) said, "Although it is obviously disappointing
that we did not manage to seize their pirate equipment
ourselves we achieved the same objective in the end. Indeed,
forcing the pirates to dispose of their own equipment and
weapons reinforces the important lesson that NATO has
capability and determination to intervene and will do so in a

USNATO 00000354 004 OF 004


robust manner whenever a pirate craft is detected."

END TEXT

4. (U) Additional news about NATO counter-piracy efforts can
be found at the MCC Northwood website: www.manw.nato.int.

5. (U) This message has been cleared with the U.S. Mission to
the EU.
BYRNES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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