Don’t Arm Merchant Marine

Don’t Arm Merchant Marine


UPDATED: With Adm. Mullen Saying He is Not a “Proponent” of Arming Merchant Marine; Piracy “Is Not My Priority Right Now.” He says: “I’ve Got A Big Globe.”

The head of the Maritime Administration, who oversees America’s merchant marine, said today that he opposed the arming of US merchant seamen to counter pirates.

“We do not want to arm mariners in any event,” James Caponiti, acting Maritime Administrator, said at today’s Navy League conference in Washington. He said the risks were just too great even though there is training for mariners to be trained in the use of small arms. He added that “we do not recommend arming our mariners with the kinds of weapons you would need for a maritime attack.” The Maritime Administration is part of the Department of Transportation.

Instead, ships should consider carrying qualified private security teams. In addition to concerns that mariners could become targets for pirates if they are armed, Caponiti said many foreign ports do not allow sailors to carry weapons or to bring them into port. These are issues the US will have to address as it considers the role of private security teams on US-flagged ships.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, agreed that arming mariners was not the right approach, adding that piracy was “not my priority right now.” Clearly pushing piracy down on the threat ladder, he said: “I’ve got a big globe.” Mullen also offered the familiar statistic that piracy affects less than 1 percent of ships and the commercial shipping industry is willing to pay ransoms rather than take more costly measures. Finally, Mullen noted that, “in the end it’s a bigger problem. It’s about Somalia…” and what the international community choose to do about it.

Also, the chief of naval operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, said he doubted that the shipping industry would be willing to adopt another tactic that many experts have encouraged: the use of armed convoys to protect ships against pirates. “The merchant fleet serves a global economy and they want to make as much money as possible,” Roughead said, noting that waiting to sail in a convoy might wreak havoc with the tight time lines required by modern industry.

The head of the Coast Guard, Adm. Thad Allen, said a new maritime “code of conduct” should be out “shortly.” He did not disclose any details.

However, Allen did say that one concept that has been much discussed to discourage piracy, the creation of shipping highways, was worthy of consideration and is being implemented in some regions.

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I think a little flexibility, imagination, and resolve is called for to meet this threat. It will be costly, but so is paying ransom. Just imagine the political circus the world press will have if another U.S. ship & crew is seized! How hard is it to train someone to use a hand held grenade launcher or an automatic weapon? The object is to deter and, if necessary, repel. Most of these “pirates” are in it for the money, not to run the risk of serious bodily harm.

Hey, anyone remember “Q” ships?

Well, they did say they “are” trained in the use of small arms. So the training isn’t needed they just need to give them rifles.

@Aurora
Q-ships are not a bad idea. Lets just hope the pirates decide not to escalate(highly unlikely considering their source of funding) if they start getting caught by wolves in sheeps clothing.

If we go the Q-ship way, I want cameras on board so we can see their faces when they get caught.

Someone care to tell me the difference between hiring a “qualified private security team” and straight up arming the swabbies besides the level of training? Sounds like lawyers going spaz over liability issues to me.

I say hell yes, arm the sailors, train them how to use them, and each ship should develop its own repel boarders drill. The weapons need not be excessive: a long gun or two to keep the bad guys from closing, pistols for close in work, and a few grenades.

As to the military: stop trying to capture and prosecute. Shoot the bad guys when you catch them, and sink their boats. Enough of them go out and not return they’ll get the idea that this activity isn’t profitable.

I think the present senior “staff” are closely related to the Navy Admirals at the start of WWII. They wouldn’t admit that they had a problem with German submarines until the Germans sank a few ships in sight of land.

Only some one with no military experience or tactical expertise propose arming merchant seamen. What we do have are newly retired service personnel or reservists in the IRR who could be TDY / TAD for ship board security duty. Shipping companies could also hire the same caliber of personnel to provide underway shipboard security, it would be cheaper then paying out millions in ransom to the pirates..

I WORKED ON MERCHANT SHIPS FOR YEARS. I WAS ALSO A NAVAL OFFICER. IN THE US DOMESTIC TRADE WHERE IT WAS LEGAL MANY OF THE CREW HAD SMALL ARMS ON BOARD. WE HAD VERY LITTLE PROBLEMS. WE NEVER NEEDED OUR GUNS.

OVERSEAS I WAS ROBBED BY PIRATES ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS. ONCE ARMED GUARDS WERE PUT ON BOARD IN COLUMBIA AFTER WE HAD BEEN ROBBED. IT ONLY TOOK 3 QUICK SHOTS FROM THE GUARD WITH A .22 PISTOL TO SEND THEM RUNNING FOR THEIR CANOE. I THINK FULL TIME GUARDS WOULD BE A WASTE OF MONEY.

I SAY GIVE THE SAILORS GUNS!

Aloha, well here we are, there are Pirates threatening civilian ships, of all nations, they are most noteworthy in Somalia. Somehow,Asia, the Caribbean,and Madagascar, got lost in the shuffle. Now comes Admiral Mike Mullen, “I’ve got a big globe” who does he sound like? Admiral Ernest King,during the beginning of WWII?. King disliked the Brits. What kind of dislike has Mike Mullen?. What to do with all the merchant seaman? We could always issue each of them a copy of the Brady Bill. They can hang it around their necks and that might stop a few rounds. Course it’s going to be bigger, that will keep them crouching.
But, what to do really?? They could be armed and they could defend their homes, the ships they sail on. Or we could install former Green Berets, Navy Seals, or Marine Corps, Gunnery Sgts. They would become, real force multipliers
only they need something to work with. The U.S.
could always install weapons and put Naval gun
crews on board. One encounter with them, would
be all it took. Just ask the crews of the 3
British Destroyers that took on the SS BlueJacket, in December of 43. The U.S.Navy gun
crew kept them at arms length, while they tried
to figure out how to best them. The big surprise
was finding out they were American.
Course, the real threat to the Somali Pirates,
put Attorney’s on the ships. 3 or 4 of them.
Then when the Pirates come aboard, they can find out first hand, they aren’t going to be
blasted back to the stoneage, they are going to be sued back to the stoneage. That’s the ticket,
course the chance of that happening is somewhere between slim and stupid. While we are
palavering, the Pirates are still out there, doing their thing, waiting for another ship loaded with stuff to ransom. Then when they take a ship and they kill everyone on board.
We can sit in a big circle and argue about who
should have done what. Course the crews, are still gonna be dead. But, we will come up with
a solution, won’t we?. Always remember, God made men, Sam Colt made them equal.
Aloha.

My father was a Merchant Marine before, during and after WWII. Yes, he also go sunk. Some didn’t want to arm the ships then. Finally, they did after enough got sunk. And by the way, it took the oil from the sunken US Merchant ships washing ashore getting the pretty beach all dirty that finally, a BLACKOUT was enforced so the US MERCHANT SHIPS WOULD NOT BE SILHOUETTED BY THE LIGHTS ON SHORE.
Thousands of US Merchantmen died and hundreds of ships lost.
International laws, which we subscribe and abide too, apply to arming Merchant ships.
Piracy is nothing new. Been going on for ages. A couple of years ago we put US troops on cruise ships. Not many but we did. You know, the War on Terror.
There is piracy in other parts of the world as well. Mullen isn’t a Merchantman. Merchantmen have to worry about the “bottom line” where Mullen doesn’t and has no clue about the merchant marine industry. Really, he has no clue.
Maybe if he lost some ships and equipment he just might get an idea.
You want to stop the piracy? Simple. Put a fire team aboard the ships. A five man team. Send a few shots across their bow, they’ll fall away and think twice.
Thing is, you can only do this on American flagged ships unless you get an agreement with the country the ship is “flagged” in.
Sorry kiddies, it’s more complicated then it seems and more so then this story can tell.

All good citizens of America whether on land or sea should be armed and prepared to engage the enemies of the United States. If it were not for citizens who picked up arms at critical times in our countries history we would have the freedoms and prosperity we now enjoy. There are many countries, mostly muslin run, that hate us and would like to see America in ashes. If you don’t own a gun you should buy one and learn to operate and store it safely. If we loose our arms we will loose our freedom. Sticks and pitch forks are no match for modern day firearms. If guns are outlawed then only criminals will have them and your family will not be safe.

hi everyone?
I believe its real dangerous for sailors to have no guns on them. As long as those given guns have a good security clearance and have passed the standards of holding one, then why not have them?
I have been in high threats but having no fire-arm when you a transporting important things is risking allot.
“ITS BETTER HAVING A FIRE-ARM WHEN U DON’T NEED IT THAN WHEN U NEED IT AND U DON’T HAVE IT.”

Let the Authorities give them rights to carry fire-arms.
The medicine for these pirates is well with Africans that understand them that have been under that determination.
They are well equipped but not good enough.
When these PMCs join hands with the Natives mostly Somalis, Kenyans, Ugandans, Djibouti and Ethiopians, these pirates can be more and fought better.
U may have an escort with a fire-arm protecting u but u must also be in position to protect urself.

The threat to them is your guard-force only.
The only problem is that in most cases the people in office to authorize something like this have NEVER BEEN IN SUCH THREAT SITUATIONS.
Thanks, May God bless U all’n may the mercy be upon those deciding on releasing the powers for Sailers to curry fire-arms and understand that we need security.
Dodo,
Protective Security.
Uganda

50 cal machine guns on deck, long range rifles in .308 or .338. AR 15’s or AK47 (my preference) for close quarters if some how the pirates board and .40 cal side arm of choice for if things fall to pieces. Give the sailors their natural right to self defense.

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