RFA does what it says on the tin...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Circus_Pony, Nov 13, 2009.

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  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/piracy/6560063/Royal-Navy-watched-helpless-as-pirates-kidnapped-yacht-couple-Paul-and-Rachel-Chandler.html
    OK... So RFA Wave Knight is not a warship, but it is i) government-owned, ii) flies an Ensign and iii) is engaged to support the Royal Navy.

    I understand that those on board were not (maybe) in a position to intervene, but being as we are trying to cover a lot of sea, surely adding Boarding Parties / Marine Snipers to RFAs when forward deployed might be a good idea so as to give us more "footprint" on the areas we are tying to patrol...

    Mind you I am still incandescent with rage as to what the couple were doing there in the first place…

  2. That's a little racist...
  3. Chimps? What are a bunch of PCSO's doing there?

    Coat, hat - Taxi! :twisted:
  4. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    The RFA's do carry people when they can, notably for anti-drug smuggling in the carribean, but it may be that this one was not expected to need them. After all she was in the area to support the real warships. The problem is where do you find all these RM sniper teams and boarding parties? Their all a bit busy at the moment
  5. Whats the betting that this will be a megga compo claim, if ,or when they get free
  6. "Details of the operation were kept secret by the Ministry of Defence until they were disclosed by an anonymous member of the crew who said that they had come within just 50ft of the couple at one point.

    A carefully worded official account of the kidnap released last month said only that a Royal Navy vessel had found the couple's yacht empty, without disclosing that the couple were within sight at the time.

    There was also no mention of the RFA vessel's involvement leading to reports that HMS Cumberland had found the yacht drifting and abandoned off the coast of Somalia. "

    I wonder why that could be :roll:
  7. So not a Royal Navy vessel then...

    It is generally accepted that once people have been taken there isn't much they can do. Brassing them up with GPMG, Mingun and 30mm fire might kill some pirates, but it will also kill the hostages.
  8. BB - Agree, but for want of a nail????
  9. Acceptable losses...............
  10. Why?
    they have a boat and were sailing?
    If you looked at their route, having hugged the north side of the gulf of aden and then stuck to the south Asian coastline to Goa before crossing in a southerly arc to Tz via the seychelles, they were steering well clear of risky areas and sticking to IMO advice. When they were hijacked their distance from Somalia was twice the IMO recommended distance of 500Nm.

    Look up TF 150 & 151 coverage areas and also the UKMTO reporting requirements.

    Then get off your high horse (pony)

    you see this?
    That is your outrage boat....
  11. Why? They were hundreds of miles away from the area where pirates normally operate.

    As stated in the article, Wave Rider's crew were instructed not to open fire.

    There is also a general instruction from the government not to do anything that might lead to pirates being brought aboard a UK government ship. The subsequent asylum claim, human rights fiasco and council houses in Birmingham would turn Britain into a laughing stock.
  12. Guys,

    It is, and always has been, standard procedure for ALL of the militaries operating on anti-piracy patrols in the region not to intervene once pirates have gained control of the vessel in order to minimise the risk of collateral damage to the civilian crews.

    Before anyone says that the Americans did it, yes, but they had trained snipers, the pirates were in one place (and a weak position at that) and were limited in number.

    This is a total non-story.

  13. Doing boardings from RFAs would not be a good idea. In theatre RFAs do carry parties of people for Force Protection but that does not make them warships. Due to the cuts this Government have imposed we've got RFAs trying to act as frigates. Well, guess what, it doesn't work!
  14. Well well. Wonder if somebody was told not to get involved again


    "Royal Navy personnel on board Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Wave Knight thwarted two pirate attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden this weekend resulting in the release of 13 hostages.

    British military support ship RFA Wave Knight was working in support of the Combined Maritime Forces that have been operating in the area for many years. At approximately 0800hrs on Saturday 18 April 2009, the ship received a distress call from Merchant Vessel Handy Tankers Magic, which was under attack by pirates.

    The attack broke off before Wave Knight arrived, but the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship followed the skiff to a fishing dhow, later confirmed to be a pirate 'mother ship'.

    Via radio, Wave Knight ordered the dhow to stop and used a Royal Navy armed force protection team as well as the ship's own weapons team to provide cover. The pirate vessel complied.

    Dutch warship HNLMS De Zeven Provincien, deployed as part of the NATO's Standing Naval Maritime Group 1, arrived on the scene and determined there were pirates and hostages aboard the vessel.

    The intervention resulted in the release of 13 fishermen who had been held hostage by pirates since 12 April. The seven suspected pirates aboard the dhow were not captured in the act of piracy so they were released, but they were disarmed and their weapons destroyed.

    Two hours later, Wave Knight received a second distress call from merchant vessel MV Front Ardennes. Wave Knight arrived on the scene and successfully deterred the skiff and prevented the pirates from boarding the tanker. Following repeated warnings to move away, Wave Knight fired warning shots, which caused the pirates to break off their attack and flee the scene.

    With the assistance of helicopters from the NATO task group ships HMCS Winnipeg and USS Halyburton, Wave Knight followed the pirate skiff for six hours, until relieved on-scene by Winnipeg, who conducted a boarding of the skiff. Wave Knight provided fuel and landing facilities for the NATO warships' helicopters and was able to manoeuvre into a position to stop the suspected pirates, allowing Winnipeg's boarding team to disarm and then subsequently release the suspected pirates.

    The Commanding Officer of RFA Wave Knight, Captain Pilling, said:

    "RFA Wave Knight is a modern replenishment ship designed to be able to support a myriad of coalition maritime operations. Our primary role is refuelling and aviation operations, but we are fully capable of conducting anti-piracy operations in and around the Horn of Africa. We have been on station for over a year providing support to many nations, and we remain committed to helping ensure maritime security."

    Royal Navy Commodore Tim Lowe, Deputy Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, said:

    "This is a clear demonstration of how co-operation between more than a dozen international naval forces can result in the successful disruption of piracy activity. In the last 72 hours alone, co-ordinated efforts of six different nations resulted in the release of 49 innocent merchant mariners who had been held hostage by armed pirates, as well as the interception of 46 suspected pirates."

    Cdre Lowe cautioned that naval forces will not be the sole solution to piracy, but by co-ordinating international naval efforts, criminal acts of piracy will continue to be disrupted.

    The Combined Maritime Forces is comprised of 23 nations whose role is to conduct maritime security operations throughout the region to help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment. Maritime security operations help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity."

  15. Still, you can imagine the conversation between the couple:

    "Oh thank fcuk. A warship. We've saved."

    "No love, look again. It's one of ours..."