Sea going snipers


4v50 Gary
February 16, 2003, 11:34 PM
Taken from the Feb. 2003 edition of Naval Institute Press magazine, Proceedings, page 75:

Spanish Forces Intercept Scuds
By Commander Javier Romero, Spanish Navy

"On 6 December 2002, the Commander of Task Force (CTF) 150, Rear Admiral Juan Moreno, Spanish Navy, deployed the Spanish guided-missile frigate Navarra and the replenishment oiler Patino east of Socotra Island in the Gulf of Aden. their mission was to intercept the So San, a North Korean merchant ship with Cambodian port of registry that was sailing unflagged and suspected of carrying Scud missiles and components. The operation demonstrated the exceptional degree of Spanish-U.S. naval cooperation being brought to bear in the Middle East.

The So San entered the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command area of responsibility on 7 December. At 0720 (local) on 9 December, the Navarra and Patino intercepted her in the Indian Ocean, 350 nautical miles east south east of Socotra Island. Although they informed the ship by radio of their intention to board in accordance with Articles 92 and 110 of the 1982 U.N. Convention and Law of the Sea (right of visit), her master refused. After two hours of trying to convince him to take on boarders, the Navarra fired warning shots ahead of the ship; still he refused to stop and continued sailing at the same course and speed. Boarding by rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) was not possible because of the So San speed, and helicopter approaches were impeded by several heavy cables attached to her king post (cargo-handling mst). Thus, CTF 150 ordered snipers to destroy the cables so the Patino's SH-3D Sea King helicopter could insert a special operations force (SOF) team by fast rope. (my bold)

At 1120, the cables were destroyed; at 1135, the first SOF team fast-roped to the So San's deck. Covered closely by the Navarra and her SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, the team secured the bridge and the second SOF team arrived by RHIB to assist in the operation. By 1250, the ship was secured and the Navarra's boarding party arrived to conduct a detailed inspection.

Following their inspection of documents, the boarders began searching the cargo and discovered undeclared containers hidden under cement bags. At that point, CTF 150 stopped the cargo inspection and requested the support of U.S. Navy SEALs and explosive ordnance demolition personnel, who conducted a full search of the containers. They found 15 SCUD missiles, fuel, and spare parts that had not been declared. On 11 December, the Spanish Navy turned over the So San to the U.S. Navy."

:cool: What can I say, but Viva Espana!

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February 17, 2003, 02:54 AM
Wow, not bad. It doesn't say anything about range or weather, but shooting something the size of a cable on one moving object from another moving object is still pretty darn good.

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