USS Ashland Captures Pirates

Posted May 8th, 2010 by Sgt Stryker

While the media’s coverage of the problem with pirates around Africa comes and goes, the problem is always there. The good news is that the military isn’t run like the media. In fact, they’re over there now keeping the waters safe for people from all over the world.

April 10, the USS Ashland was fired upon by a skiff manned by suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden, approximately 330 nautical miles off the coast of Djibouti.

During the attack, the Ashland received small arms fire on the port side from the six-man crew of suspected pirates aboard the skiff. The Ashland, in accordance with her rules of engagement, returned fire.

USS Ashland fired two rounds at the skiff from her MK-38 Mod 2, 25-mm gun.

The skiff caught fire and the suspected pirates abandoned the skiff. The Ashland deployed her rigid-hull inflatable boats to assist the pirates who were in the water near their skiff.

I don’t know – seems like they picked a fight with the wrong ship, eh?

Capt. John Bruening, commanding officer, Nassau Amphibious Ready Group, expressed the commitment of the ships in the Nassau ARG to ensuring the success of creating a stable and secure maritime environment.

“This is why we are here,” said Bruening. “It is so much more than just putting a stop to the illegal activities of only one pirate skiff. It is about fostering an environment that will give every nation the freedom to navigate the seas without fear of attack.”

The U.S. Navy has been able to capture a total of 21 suspected pirates in early April 2010. Two of these events were precipitated by attacks on the U.S. vessels, while the third was in response to a fellow mariner’s call for help.

However you look at it, they’re doing a good job.

Sgt. Stryker out.

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USS Ashland Captures Pirates

Visit, board, search and seizure team members arrive on the scene in a rigid hull inflatable boat to pull suspected pirates from the sea to be brought to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland. Ashland is part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently supporting Maritime Security Operations and Theater Security Cooperation Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky)

Suspected pirates skiff burns after being burnt near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland. Ashland is part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently supporting Maritime Security Operationsand Theater Security Cooperation Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Chief Petty Officer Harry J. Storms)

Suspected pirates skiff burns after being destroyed near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland. Ashland is part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently supporting Maritime Security Operationsand Theater Security Cooperation Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Chief Petty Officer Harry J. Storms)

Visit, board, search and seizure team members pull suspected pirates from the sea to be brought to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland. Ashland is part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently supporting Maritime Security Operations and Theater Security Cooperation Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky)

13th ESC Wins Amazing Race Charity Run in Iraq

Posted April 29th, 2010 by Sgt Stryker

Service members ran a race, played golf blindfolded and choked down the “nastiest” food the chow hall had to offer last December 5 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. They did all this to raise money for the Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas.

Senior Master Sgt. Bryan Shipman, a superintendant of protocol with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and a Norfolk, Va., native, served as the Air Force CFC representative.

“We noticed there were no combined events with the Army or anyone else,” he said. “We teamed with the 13th (Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)) and the 194th Engineer Brigade and we came together with this alternate Amazing Race event.”

What’s really amazing to me is that these brave men and women are in harm’s way and yet they’re still able to think about others and help with a charity. Wow. That’s something, you know. If you agree, leave a comment!

Master Sgt. Kimberly D. Bergman, a 13th ESC career counselor and a Chicago native, said no other CFC-O event has had all the major commands from their base organized together.

Instead of commanders doing their own events for CFC-O, they came together as a whole – Army and Air Force, said Bergman.

“It was an awesome time,” she said. “Everyone brought their own strengths … which [were]reflected in the different challenges that we had.”

Spc. Martha A. Bolt, a paralegal specialist with the 13th ESC and a Sussex, N.J., native, said the event was fun and helped the service members get a good workout.

Bolt, who was on the Urban Logistickers team, said the hardest part of the event was the eating competition at the Mirage dining facility. She drew a number and had to eat banana pudding with raisins. Other numbered items included sardines, refried beans and tuna.

Her teammate, Maj. Erik A. Enyart, a brigade aviation officer with the 13th ESC and a Radcliff, Ky., native, said blind golfing and chow-hall eating were the hardest parts of the event.

I don’t know – it all seems like a lot to me. Thanks to the participating troops, though! (Even if it is a few months late.) To make up for it, here’s a more recent Amazing Race Afghanistan video. Enjoy!

Sgt. Stryker out.

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13th ESC Wins Amazing Race Charity Run

Capt. Amber M. Marks, a Task Force Leader logistics officer with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Artillery Regiment out of Fort Sill, Okla., and Staff Sgt. Brandon E. Thomas, a communication and electronics noncommissioned officer with the 602nd Forward Support Company out of Fort Lewis, Wash., read the directions for the next event during the Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas Amazing Race Dec. 5 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Marks, a Parkersburg, W.Va., native, and Thomas, a Freeport, Ill., native, were part of team Born Ready. Photo by Sgt. Ryan Twist

Sgt. Austin A. Nightingale, operation executive administrative assistant with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) out of Fort Hood, Texas, and Maj. Erik A. Enyart, a brigade aviation officer with the 13th ESC, eat bread pudding and raisins at the Mirage dining facility during the Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas Amazing Race Dec. 5 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Nightingale, a Missoula, Mont., native, and Enyart, a Radcliff, Ky., native, were part of the winning team, the Urban Logistickers, which won a $300 dollar check donated to the CFC in their name. Photo by Sgt. Ryan Twist

Spc. Kimberly N. Dover, a medic at the Troop Medical Center with the 248th Area Support Medical Company out of Marietta, Ga., tries to eat bread pudding and raisins at the Mirage dining facility during the Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas Amazing Race Dec. 5 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Dover, a Cartersville, Ga., native, was part of team Sickcall Rangers, which placed third in the event. Photo by Sgt. Ryan Twist

Team Urban Logistickers, with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) out of Fort Hood, Texas, accept a $300 check from Col. Knowles Y. Atchison, deputy commander with the 13th ESC, for winning the Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas Amazing Race Dec. 5 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The check will be donated to the CFC in recognition of the winners. Photo by Sgt. Ryan Twist