Pentagon asks ocean carriers to do more to tackle piracy
The U.S. Defense Department asked commercial ocean carriers operating in the Gulf of Aden to do more to protect themselves against pirate attacks.
While more than 20 countries, including a contingent of the U.S. 5th Fleet, have established a naval presence off the Somali Coast to fight the pirates, the Defense Department said it’s important for carriers to use proactive lookouts, evasive maneuvers and embarked security teams to discourage these attacks.
“Companies don’t even think twice about using security guards to protect their goods on shore,” said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, on Wednesday in a news report by the American Forces Press Service. “Protecting valuable ships at sea shouldn’t be any different.”
While naval forces have an obligation to protect international shipping lanes, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said ocean carriers have a responsibility to secure their vessels to help prevent pirate takeovers.
“There are shared responsibilities here,” Morrell said. “I think we are stepping to the plate — doing more than ever, for that matter. I think it’s incumbent upon companies to look more and more at what they can do to try to prevent these incidents from happening.”