USS Chinook Assists Stranded Iraqi Fishing Dhow

The coastal patrol craft USS Chinook (PC 9) conducts maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya oil terminal (KAAOT). Chinook is part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 158, which is specifically responsible for ensuring the security of Iraq's KAAOT and Al Basra oil terminals in support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1790. CTF-158 operates jointly with Iraqi Navy sailors and marines, trained by members of the Navy Transition Team based in nearby Umm Qasr. (Foto: navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lenny M. Francioni)

June 24, 2009 -- USS Chinook (PC 9) provided assistance to an Iraqi fishing dhow experiencing mechanical problems June 22 in the North Arabian Gulf.

U.S. and Iraqi sailors aboard the Al Basra Oil Terminal, as part of Combined Task Force Iraqi Maritime (CTF-IM), received a distress call from the fishing dhow Kadem Alabbas.

The dhow, approximately 50 miles from the Kuwaiti coast, had been adrift at sea for three days after mechanical problems left it unable to operate at sea.

Chinook, which was in port at Kuwait Naval Base (KNB), was dispatched to the scene to assist the Iraqi fishing dhow.

Upon arrival, Chinook Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Allen L. Maxwell, Jr. sent his boarding team to evaluate the conditions aboard Kadem Alabbas and establish the level of assistance required.

Once it was determined that repairs to the dhow would need to be completed ashore, Chinook towed Kadem Alabbas approximately 30 miles, until handing off the dhow to an Iraqi patrol boat for further transfer to Basra, Iraq, the vessel's homeport.

"This is what we do," said Maxwell. "Navy PC's and Iraqi patrol boats are very capable platforms, and we had an opportunity to display just how flexible we are and how well we work together."

Coalition forces have a long standing tradition of providing assistance, whether with food, water or rescue, to mariners in distress.

"It took some time and patience, but we got it done and also showed these mariners that coalition ships in the Arabian Gulf are out here to help," said Maxwell.

Chinook is conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the North Arabian Gulf as part of CTF-IM. MSO help develop security in the maritime environment and complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment to transport personnel and weapons or serve as a venue for attack.


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