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Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations
Part of Piracy in the Mediterranean
Greek pirates.jpg

Greek pirate boats attacking HMS Comet, which led to intervention by the USS Porpoise after departing its convoy
LocationOff Greece, Aegean Sea
  • Several Greek pirates stop their operations
  • HMS Comet given to American forces
  • Message of thanks issued to Louis Goldsborough from the British government
 United States Greek Pirates
Commanders and leaders
US Naval Jack 24 stars.svg
John Rodgers
US Naval Jack 24 stars.svg
Louis M. Goldsborough
1 ship-of-the-line
1 frigate
3 sloops-of-war
2 schooners
1,990+ sailors and
marine infantry
Casualties and losses
Unknown 96 killed

Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations began in 1825 when the United States government dispatched a squadron of ships to suppress Aegean Greek pirates. Due to the Greek civil wars and the decline of the Hellenic Navy, the Aegean quickly became a haven for pirates who sometimes doubled as privateers. American merchant vessels were attacked, so the Mediterranean Squadron began escort and patrol duties. The operations terminated in 1828 as piracy ceased.[1][2]

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Piracy at sea has grown to such global proportions that many countries around the world are eager to respond the sea has always been challenging and seafarers have quite enough to do as they go about their daily work aboard to combat the alarming increase in piracy off the Somali coast the European Union established its first naval force operation Atalanta with its headquarters based in the UK as part of this the maritime security center Horn of Africa or MSC h0a has been created and includes civilian Merchant Navy liaison officers embedded within the military command structure it's a million square miles of ocean we have 30,000 plus movements a year just in the Gulf of Aden a note that doesn't include those that are running down from India towards South Africa or people transiting from Eastern Africa across the Far East so a huge amount of shipping is going on crucial to world trade where I have warships available we meet them in the Gulf of Aden we transit through a corridor which is internationally recognized as the best as the safest in a difficult area route through that region so we work hand in hand to make sure that information is put across and on top of that in terms of pure military aspects we go out and try and deter and disrupt some of the pirate activity which is taking place in the Somali Basin so it's a three-pronged mission that I have food and aid to Somalia supporting vulnerable shipping and where I can deterring a disrupting parts whilst piracy of Somali has made the headlines recently it occurs in many other regions - most notably Southeast Asia the Indian subcontinent West Africa and South America the attacks may take the form of armed robbery when a tanker pirates simply intent on stealing the contents of a ship safe and anything else they can easily get their hands on for as in the case of Somalia piracy operating as a business ships and the cruise being held for ransom when it's known a passage will take the ship through piratical waters our master must ensure at the port of departure that the vessels defenses are at their highest state of readiness whilst in Port it's important the ship complies with the ISPs code the monitoring and restriction of gangway access should be rigorously enforced this includes identity checks for local personnel and the photographing of unknown visitors in preparing for sea the ship security alert button should be double check and if the vessel has to sail through dangerous waters searchlights should also be tested they may help to dazzle pirates in case they try a night attack the laying of barrier Y and razor wire vulnerable places blocking of access works use of audio devices and water sprayers suitable positioning of realistic dummies all these can show that the ship is well prepared and this may deter pirates if possible reduce the ship's ballast an increase in free will defense it more difficult for buyers to get home when Sammy the master should consider the best use of the ship's automatic identification system while is essential to hammer down at the town the amount of information world Hall should be minimized which is dated Lilu ownerships identity in its speed in court this will assist any voices coming at sea keeping an alert watch is always important that such awareness should be heightened when entering known piratical waters off Somalia if a sighting is made the master should immediately contact the ukmto and dubai elsewhere the imb piracy Reporting Center and any other regional centers may be the first contact points the earlier suspicious boat is seen the better either by visual contact or radar at night good image intensifiers can significant improve your ability to detect such craft at greater distances pirates often use small high speed skips or inflatables coming in fast and at an angle to surprise their chosen target they offered for motherships which are evil to war hundreds of miles at this time the whole crew should be alerted and instructed to go to the piracy safe muster point this should be as secure as possible and stops with food and water a roll call should be carried out and once complete the bridge notified in some instances the Pirates will not give up or there could be multiple attacks if boarding looks the most likely outcome the master should make a mayday call on VHF channel 16 and set a pre-written distress message by DSC and Inmarsat's Eve



In the wake of the Hellenic Navy's decline after 1824, the Navy turned increasingly to privateering. With the breakdown of law and order in the Aegean, piracy became widespread. Several American merchant ships were plundered by 1825, so that year President James Monroe sent Commodore John Rodgers to protect American commerce. From 1825 to 1828, seven American warships were assigned to the Mediterranean Squadron, including the flagship USS North Carolina, the frigate USS Constitution, the sloops USS Fairfield, USS Lexington and USS Ontario, and the schooners USS Porpoise and USS Warren. The sloops and schooners were the main vessels deployed against the pirates because the larger men-of-war were too large to be effective. Many of the Greek pirates used small, three-masted vessels called mistikos and were usually armed with one bow gun.[1][3]

Commodore Rodgers' first squadron in the Aegean occupied its time by convoying merchant ships and did not fight any engagements. In 1826 the squadron was withdrawn, but another was sent in 1827 after a new escalation in piracy. Again the naval force was under John Rodgers' command. USS Warren would be the first to fight the brigands in a battle; she was newly constructed and sailed from Boston in February 1827. In September, the Warren ceased escort duty, and under the command of Lieutenant Lawrence Kearny, she captured a sixteen-gun brig on October 4 while patrolling around Cape Matapan and the port of Carabusa. One boat and fifteen pirates were also taken.[1][3]

USS North Carolina.
USS North Carolina.

While sailing in convoy on October 16, Lieutenant Louis M. Goldsborough of the Porpoise liberated the British brig Comet after watching it get captured by 250 pirates in five vessels. In the ensuing battle, around ninety brigands were killed or wounded while the Americans suffered no casualties. Three brigs left the convoy at that point and two of them were later attacked. The first brig was captured off Chios and the second was abandoned by her crew before it was captured. On October 23, one American sailor from the Porpoise was wounded in a skirmish near Andros. USS Warren chased a ten-gun pirate brig on October 25 and it grounded off Argentiere before sinking; the pirates escaped to shore. Warren recovered the American ship Cherub and the Austrian vessel Silence off Syros on October 28, and two days later the Americans captured a pirate tratta propelled by forty oars and landed sailors and marines on Mykonos to recover stolen property from the Cherub, Silence and the Rob Roy. One pirate boat was burned during the landing and the town shelled.[1][3]

On November 7, a boat expedition from the Warren under the command of Lieutenant William L. Hudson destroyed one pirate boat and captured another off Andros. The Warren also landed men on Argentiere and Milos in December, and convoyed eight American merchant vessels from Milos to Smyrna. In just over two months, the Warren captured or destroyed seven pirate vessels, rescued three merchant ships, recovered stolen property, escorted two convoys, and patrolled hundreds of miles in the Mediterranean. By the end of 1827, the United Kingdom, Russia and France had deployed their own fleets to the Aegean for suppression of piracy and to support Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire.[1][3]

In January 1828 a combined fleet of British and French warships attacked Carabusa, which was a major center of piracy. Following its destruction, reports of pirate attacks began to cease, and by the end of 1828, Secretary of the Navy Samuel L. Southard declared that because of the convoy system enforced by the United States Navy and the arrival of powerful fleets in the Aegean, the threat of piracy was eliminated.[1][3]

See also



  • Wombwell, A. James (2010). The Long War Against Piracy: Historical Trends. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-9823283-6-1.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

This page was last edited on 10 November 2018, at 03:06
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