2009 Brings New Anti-Piracy Task Force

Anti-piracy measures in the Golf of Aden will be steeped up in 2009 after more than 100 attacks in 2008. The United States will lead a new anti-piracy task force which will include Canada, Iran, India and China.

The US Fifth Fleet has announced the establishment of a new international naval force to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean after a wave of hijackings off the coast of Somalia.

“The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) specifically for counter-piracy operations,” the Bahrain-based fleet said in a statement.

US Navy Rear Admiral Terence McKnight has been named commander of the task force, which is expected to be “fully operational by the middle of January,” according to the statement.

CMF Commander US Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said in the statement that the new task force would focus exclusively on the fight against increasingly bold acts of piracy being carried out by pirates operating from largely lawless Somalia. ABC NEWS