Pirates hijack two freighters off coast of Somalia
Pirates have hijacked two freighters off Somalia, bringing to three the number of vessels seized in the same region this week, a Kenyan maritime official said on Thursday.
The MV Arean and the MV Lehmann Timber were seized in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, said Andrew Mwangura of the Kenyan branch of the Seafarers’ Assistance Program. “We have confirmed that the pirates are onboard the two vessels, but we have not received any demands for ransom,” he told AFP.
Sri Lanka Military Sinks 4 Tamil Rebel Boats
Sri Lanka’s military sank four Tamil Tiger rebel boats Thursday off the island’s northern coast after a battle that killed eight rebels and one soldier, while six civilians were killed in a rebel artillery attack, the military said.
A military official said the rebel boats were sunk when troops fired artillery at them as they attempted to attack army and naval positions in Sirutheevu off northern Jaffna.
UK Nuclear Submarines Understaffed
Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines are starting to feel the manpower shortage that’s affecting the UK’s armed forces.
Sky News has learned that the boats including those carrying the country’s Trident missiles are putting to sea with as little as 85% of their intended crew complement.
Despite a recent pay bonus, making submariners Britain’s highest-earning sailors, a manning shortage means that across the undersea fleet more than one job in six is vacant.
Sky News’s defence correspondent Geoff Meade has been aboard HMS Trenchant, a nuclear-powered patrol boat where student captains were briefed that manpower levels were the main concern.
It’s particular acute among nuclear watch keepers who monitor the performance of the boat’s reactor. In the engine room, supervised trainees were being used to cover for qualified technicians.
The revival of Britain’s civil atom power programme is expected to worsen the scarcity as experienced operators are tempted by higher salaries and regular home life of jobs ashore.
In the week that it emerged that a British submarine had been forced to surface after colliding with a rock outcrop under the Red Sea, the Navy insists the shortages have not reached a level where they compromise operational safety.
Nigeria: Navy Not Well Funded – Minister
Ministry of Defence yesterday said it is making necessary arrangements to ensure that the Nigerian Navy was well funded by the Federal Government.
This latest move is aimed at enabling the Navy to meet up with its constitutional responsibility of protecting the nation’s territorial waters.
[Vice Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye] said some of the reasons for insurgency in the Niger Delta region was that the Nigerian Navy lacks enough boats to patrol the area.
Towards this end, the Federal Government has approved acquisition of modern platforms and training for naval personnel, as part of efforts to modernise the Navy.
Navy ship Elrod to deploy to Mediterranean, eastern Atlantic
The Navy says the guided missile ship Elrod will deploy from Norfolk Naval Station next week.
Officials say the ship will operate in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic Ocean, participating in exercises, making diplomatic port calls and responding to emergencies.
Virginia governor seeks to preserve Hampton Roads fleet
Governor Tim Kaine is voicing his concerns over a Navy study that could lead to a shift of sailors and ships from Virginia’s Hampton Roads to Florida.
The study involves the possibility of moving warships to Mayport Naval Station in the Jacksonville area. The move would also involve the spending of $500 million to improve Mayport.
In a letter sent this week to the Navy, Kaine wrote that Virginia has “significant concerns” about any possible move of ships, sailors and their families south. He asked for more time for public comments and the study.