Anti-piracy mission “Operation Atalanta” – a German Navy VBSS team combats piracy in the Horn of Africa to protect international sea and trade routes.
© Bundeswehr / Hbtsm Sascha Jonack
The Mogadishu Mile 5K will take place in Irving, Texas on Saturday, October 5th, as a portion of a 20th anniversary Task Force Ranger Reunion. Participants will run alongside actual members of Task Force Ranger as a tribute to those lost but never forgotten. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The Mogadishu Mile refers to a route that was run by American Rangers and Delta Force soldiers from a helicopter crash site to an appointed rally point held by the 10th Mountain Division on National Street during the Battle of Mogadishu on October 4, 1993 (popularly known as the “Black Hawk Down” incident).
Originally the troops were supposed to take cover by running alongside a convoy of Humvees and armored personnel carriers; however, when the convoy failed to understand that the vehicles were needed for cover, they left them and the soldiers were forced to run without support and with very little ammunition.
The organizers of this year’s Mogadishu Mile 5K Run event are proud to announce the participation and assistance of Jeff Struecker – a former U.S. Army Ranger who served during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. Jeff has been an instrumental element in bringing the 20th Annual Mogadishu Mile Memorial 5K to Irving, Texas.
In the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, Struecker was a 24-year-old Sergeant and squad leader assigned to Task Force Ranger as a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment. It was he who led the 3-vehicle convoy through intense fire, to return wounded Ranger Pvt. Todd Blackburn to base. Struecker’s combat experience also includes Operation Just Cause – Panama, Operation Desert Storm – Iraq, Operation Restore Hope – Somalia, and more than a dozen combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
An officer from the Kenyan Contingent of the AMISOM looks through binoculars during an advance on the Somali port city of Kismayu last week-end. 29 years after “Operation Gothic Serpent”, multi-national forces are again intervening in Somalia to try and bring peace and stability to this failed state.
Photo copyright Reuters.
A Royal Marine whose ship chased down a pirate mothership in the Gulf and captured more than 30 pirates has been awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS).
Major Adam Whitmarsh, aged 33, was based on Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Fort Victoria as the chief of staff for the UK’s counter-piracy task group, and was part of the team that freed a Pakistani dhow and Italian merchant vessel in October 2011.
Both crews were liberated by Royal Marines boarding teams, with the pirates captured and sent for prosecution in Italy and the Seychelles.
Major Whitmarsh said:
“The job satisfaction from this deployment was immense – we went out there to chase down pirates and keep the sea lanes safe and that is exactly what we did.
“As part of my job on board RFA Fort Victoria I was in charge of planning the operations against the pirates, so to see it all come together and also see them sent for prosecution was a real highlight.”
Royal Marines aboard HMS Sutherland have been practising their pirate vessel boarding techniques using ‘rapid roping’ from the frigate’s helicopter in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Despite punishing daytime temperatures in the mid-30s degrees Celsius, ‘The Fighting Clan’, as HMS Sutherland is known, continues her mission against international terrorism and the drugs trade in the Indian Ocean.
Pirate and smuggler dhows aren’t renowned for sweeping expanses of unobstructed deck, let alone a flight deck to set down a ten-tonne naval helicopter, so these exercises are useful preparation for the commandos, who may have to board such vessels from the air during the course of their deployment.