USS Mustin Conducts Maritime Security Operations in Persian Gulf
Story Number: NNS050510-05
Release Date: 5/10/2005 2:38:00 PM
By Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Phillip A. Nickerson Jr., Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
ABOARD USS MUSTIN (NNS) -- USS Mustin's (DDG 89) Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team and supporting Sailors are conducting coalition maritime security operations (MSO) in the North Persian Gulf as part of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group.
MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO denies international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
Given the global reach and mobile nature of international terrorism, close coordination among coalition forces and regional countries is vital to preventing terrorist activity.
“We want the Gulf to be safe and secure for everybody to operate in,” said Mustin commanding officer, Cmdr. Michael Ford.
Vessels in the area are contacted by bridge-to-bridge radio. They are asked to identify themselves and the ship’s nationality, the name of the operation company and their intentions.
“Depending on the information they give us, we ask them can we make a visit? And so the VBSS will take one of our small boats and board the vessel and search it,” said Ford.
If a thorough search of the vessel shows that the vessel is, in fact, carrying contraband, their documents and certifications are documented, and the vessel is then turned around and sent back to where it came from.
VBSS teams also do health and welfare inspections, making sure the crews are healthy, have enough food and water, and ensure a vessel is seaworthy enough to make the next port of call.
Many of Mustin’s stops are just to check with vessels to see if they need help and find out if they have experienced any problems with pirates so coalition forces can hopefully prevent that from happening in the future, said Ford.
“Part of the reason we like to work with the regional nations is to see how they do the same kind of thing,” said Ford. “That interaction helps us all do the mission better. That’s how I view our mission - to help build relationships to help keep things safer."
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