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Old 12-05-2011, 16:54   #16
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Basic Q ship...

The easiest way to "do" a Q ship would be to rearrange/cover/add to the lights on a warship so it looked like a freighter.

The pirates have already tried to attack a warship by mistake, so they could be considered very enthusiastic, but lacking good eyesight...
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Old 12-05-2011, 17:08   #17
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

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Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
The reasons it didn't work in the world wars do not indicate that it will not work in the piracy issue.
Pirates are not torpedoing their targets!
and that it didn't work for long or arguably very well doesn't make the fackt *wrong*, just incomplete.
You're right. The historical context is irrelevant.
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Old 13-05-2011, 12:14   #18
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

The solution has to be inexpensive. Sinking all the known mother ships while in port is cheap and kills very few people if any. Jets launched from a single carrier in a single day could sink all of their mother ships. We could call it Pearl Harbor 2.
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Old 13-05-2011, 13:05   #19
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

The online game idea is not a bad one, if the shortage is in eyes to monitor the ocean. Satellite photos, and camera shots from drones can cover a lot of ground. queuing slots for the next volunteer to monitor could work, if you see nothing, OK. If you see a suspected pirate, push a button to forward to naval officer. It may be a big ocean, but there are millions on the internet. Double or triple backups, with official supervision, and scoring on sucessful id rate to weed out the serious participants from the wack jobs.

I'll bet with the hardware we have we could monitor at least a few thousand miles of the problem area. We don't need to cover the whole ocean, just the shipping lanes, and a buffer zone. Make them well outside reasonable fishing zones, and forbid ANY entry from Somalian, (or unidentified), craft. And have a team of people watching that stretch of ocean constantly with naval vessals within striking distance.

It would only take a few dozen successes to discourage attacks. Piracy is popular now because the pirates have been winning.
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Old 14-05-2011, 07:46   #20
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
The online game idea is not a bad one, if the shortage is in eyes to monitor the ocean. Satellite photos, and camera shots from drones can cover a lot of ground... I'll bet with the hardware we have we could monitor at least a few thousand miles of the problem area...
Good points, Bill. But I think you (& many others) don't appreciate the scale of the problem. Go check out the Piracy Tracking website. The area that the Somali pirates are controling covers some 2.3 MILLION square miles. And pirate mother ships just look like fishing boats, so they're hard to distinguish from the good guys, even by trained professionals.

Personally, I think the job of patroling that much ocean (or even a restricted corridor, which abandons a bunch of us yachties) is too much. If a military radar can see 50nm, that's only 8K sq-mi or about .003 of what they need to cover (so they'd need 300 navy ships). Patroling (quarantining) the Somali coast would require only ~30 ships, & removing any guns that try to come offshore should be MUCH easier than trying to be everywhere they're needed in the Indian Ocean.
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Old 14-05-2011, 09:51   #21
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

Thank you, Gord, apparently I was misinformed about some significant details. I'll let the mistakes stand, rather than try to edit them out and leave the corrections looking odd.

Jon, Bill-
It isn't just the scale that's an issue. The US military has been asked to use their assets for "non-war" purposes before, such as locating a yacht lost at sea. The assets ARE up to the job, a lot of the imaging programs were discussed 30 years ago and we can only guess at how much more advanced they are today. The problem is, the folks who operate those assets are probably right in their adamant insistance that any use of them, discloses how good the assets are, and that's classified information which must not be disclosed.

For instance, if a Keyhole satellite vintage 1970 could see cars in a parking lot, don't you think the new replacements using streaming video instead of dropping film cassettes, can see a small boat that's twice the size of a car? And if the NSA had three Crays in 1970 (they did) how much more power do they have, to scan and follow the images on the live videos? Heck, for $200 you can buy image detection software for a home webcam now, and Sony's consumer cameras even recognize faces in images.

So yes, there's probably enough horsepower out there, but simply admitting it exists, becomes a security issue. Disclosing the job it actually can do, worse. Bottom line? The good toys stay in the box marked "classified" and if you want that ocean watched, someone else will have to do it. And pay for it.

To keep mixing metaphors...that's why any deerhunter will tell you stalking deer is a long hard task, compared to baiting them. Which is always SO much easier, that it usually is illegal. Put out some pirate bait, they'll come. Or keep coming, since they already ARE. Why this is tolerated, or even encouraged, becomes a matter of politics rather than tactics, and as such unsuited for discussion in this forum.

Traps work. The rest is all politics.
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Old 15-05-2011, 17:12   #22
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

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Good points, Bill. But I think you (& many others) don't appreciate the scale of the problem. Go check out the Piracy Tracking website. The area that the Somali pirates are controling covers some 2.3 MILLION square miles. And pirate mother ships just look like fishing boats, so they're hard to distinguish from the good guys, even by trained professionals.

Personally, I think the job of patroling that much ocean (or even a restricted corridor, which abandons a bunch of us yachties) is too much. If a military radar can see 50nm, that's only 8K sq-mi or about .003 of what they need to cover (so they'd need 300 navy ships). Patroling (quarantining) the Somali coast would require only ~30 ships, & removing any guns that try to come offshore should be MUCH easier than trying to be everywhere they're needed in the Indian Ocean.

Again, yes I don't expect the navy to be able to cover 2.3 Million square miles, but even Google earth satelites can and do cover that much area in a reasonable time. Get 2.3 million volunteers, (I can look over 1 square mile a day), and you have the coverage you need.

Can't tell the difference between a fishing boat and a pirate??? Really? Outlaw fishing in the shipping coridor, Still there? Then you ARE a pirate and need to be intercepted. Your a Somali and don't like being boarded and searched, ....daily,....Then fish somewhere else! Like within a single gas tank range for a fishing skiff of shore. How did you get that far out without a mothership anyway???

Good point about quarantining the Somalian coast. Draw a line, one side of the line, no somalians allowed, the other no one else allowed. Cross the line you are tresspassing in Somalian Sovereign waters, cross the other way YOU ARE A PIRATE.

A buffer DMZ zone between pirates, and targets has worked historically very well, especially when one side has superior firepower.
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Old 15-05-2011, 17:24   #23
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Thank you, Gord, apparently I was misinformed about some significant details. I'll let the mistakes stand, rather than try to edit them out and leave the corrections looking odd.

Jon, Bill-
It isn't just the scale that's an issue. The US military has been asked to use their assets for "non-war" purposes before, such as locating a yacht lost at sea. The assets ARE up to the job, a lot of the imaging programs were discussed 30 years ago and we can only guess at how much more advanced they are today. The problem is, the folks who operate those assets are probably right in their adamant insistance that any use of them, discloses how good the assets are, and that's classified information which must not be disclosed.

Bottom line? The good toys stay in the box marked "classified" and if you want that ocean watched, someone else will have to do it. And pay for it.

Traps work. The rest is all politics.
I don't buy the classified thing, That may be the excuse, but really. We, (the American taxpayer), have spent trillions of our tax dollars on this "stuff", if it's SOO classified we can't use it, what did we spend all that money for. Keep it secret from the Russians or the Chinese, My Government tells me they are our friends now, we give them nuclear, and satelite technology and most of our money. We directly support the Russian space program, and built a space station with them. SO whats the big secret???

Obviously the Somalians, or for that matter the Iraqis, Afghanistanes, or the Iranians are NOT going to be able to build and launch a global spy satelite network; even if we gave them written instructions, and most of the parts.
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Old 15-05-2011, 17:38   #24
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

This game is supposed to go off tomorrow. Has anyone received any notification about time, format, and duration?
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Old 15-05-2011, 18:53   #25
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

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...Can't tell the difference between a fishing boat and a pirate??? Really? Outlaw fishing in the shipping coridor, Still there? Then you ARE a pirate and need to be intercepted. Your a Somali and don't like being boarded and searched, ....daily,....Then fish somewhere else! Like within a single gas tank range for a fishing skiff of shore. How did you get that far out without a mothership anyway???...
I think it would be difficult to outlaw fishing in the Indian Ocean, or even just in the shipping corridor. (While keeping a corridor safe might be possible, it abandons those who are going elsewhere & lets the pirates control a lot of ocean, so I'm trying for a broader solution). But since the pirates are using captured ships, usually fishing boats, as their mother ships, they're quite indistinguishable from legitimate fishing boats (except, perhaps, for the towed skiffs, although purse seiners use skiffs).

But can you imagine the number of false alarms generated by umpteen untrained civilians looking at satellite imagery? Also, I'm not sure where Google (et al) get their satellite imagery from, but much of it's several years old. I've never seen anything even close to a real-time satellite feed except for weather pics. I agree with your outrage at not using tools that we taxpayers have paid for, but I don't think the military would be happy letting that real-time feed out (& I'm not sanguine about its effectiveness).

Traps are a good idea, but what we really want is to teach the Somalis that piracy is a bad idea. The fishermen who the warlords recruit as their pirates don't get much news, so it would take a long time for word to get to them that piracy was becoming dangerous for the pirates, during which time many crews could be captured & possibly punnished. The Russians blew up a pirate ship some months ago (with the pirates on board). Perhaps if they'd just shot them, then set the autopilot to run the ship ashore at some pirate hangout, the message would get around faster. If you're going to end human life, you should get maximum value from that. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but I don't think the rest of the world sees things that way

Let's hope this sumulation game generates some good ideas. I still think the Navy can elliminate Somali piracy with a quarantine line. How many more crews will be taken hostage before we're allowed to take definitive action?

It's completely ridiculous that a bunch of ragged Somalis can make the navies of the world look like complete laughing stocks.
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Old 15-05-2011, 18:58   #26
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Exclamation Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

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It's completely ridiculous that a bunch of ragged Somalis can make the navies of the world look like complete laughing stocks.

I think we are all in complete agreement on that one.
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Old 15-05-2011, 20:49   #27
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I've been reading the entries and didnt see this idea. Hope it hasn't been discussed.

Why can't we (shipping co., navy, whoever) make a computer program to identify suspicious boats. Motherships may have one ID shape & fishing boats (acting odd-not fishing) would have another recon ID by the computer. Computers can search a huge area quickly. If something comes up, trained navy staff looks at it & decides to investigate further. Then if further is needed send a navy boat out to check it out with whatever means is necessary to stop them. Preferably capture & interragate. Most are poor & have no other way to make a living so why not spy for pay?

I agree they are doing more because they are winning but also because they are good at business. They started small then invested money they got for goods or ransom for bigger, faster boats & mother ships. They got more involved. I agree this needs to be stopped now. Before they get too big to stop.
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Old 15-05-2011, 21:22   #28
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

Possibly (he says, sceptically)... Fishing ships often range several hundred, even thousands of miles before getting to the area they want to fish. Tuna clippers usually wander around until they see a "tuna-ball" in a feeding frenzy before they drop their nets. Computers can be very smart, but I'm not sure how you'd distinguish between a pirate & a fishing ship going about its lawful business (& I'm a computer geek). Which is not to say it can't be done, or even that it shouldn't be tried, just that *I* wouldn't know where to start.
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Old 15-05-2011, 23:18   #29
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You do not need to patrol all 2.3 million square miles (if that is the area) just need. To establish a free-fire shipping lane. All legitimate ships, cruisers included, would traverse the sea in this lane. ANY unidentified ship in that zone is sunk. If they need to fish, be outside that zone. If they need to die, enter the zone. Pretty much the end of the problem. There are enough assets in the region to police a defined zone like this. Besides, the pilots can always use the target practice.
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Old 16-05-2011, 00:05   #30
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Re: Help US Navy Hunt Pirates

Hi Bob - good to hear from you again! The multi-national fleet out there is trying to keep a shipping lane open. They've been at it for years, with abysmal results. Also, any "solution" that depends on lanes only protects boats that are going where those lanes are going. Granted that most traffic thru the NW Indian is going to or from the Red Sea, but certainly not all (like us). And that "lane solution" isn't working now & shows no signs of improving - certainly not to the extent of eliminating pirate hijackings in the NW Indian Ocean (which is what I think we want to work towards).
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