Posts Tagged expulsis piratis restituta commercia

Martime Security: ’20 Floating Armories’ In The Red Sea, Gulf Of Aden And Indian Ocean

About 20 ships stocked with assault rifles and other small arms as well as ammunition, body armour and night vision goggles are scattered around the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the EU naval force has confirmed.

It is not perfect, but floating armories are what companies have had to turn to in order to accomplish the task. Where as I agree that some standard should be applied to how these armories function, on the other hand, thanks to this practice, ‘armed guards on boats’ has become a success. We are getting closer to achieving ‘Expulsis Piratis–Restituta Commercia’.

As for these armories being vulnerable to attack? Why would they? The operators of these vessels have every interest in the world to protect their precious and lethal cargo–and they have the tools to do that. If a pirate group wants to take on one of these floating armories, they will have to contend with the idea that the vessel is armed. But either way, some sort of standard for the defense and operation of these armories would be a good call.

I also was not aware of how many of these things were out there, and thanks to this article, that was identified. –Matt


Piracy fears over ships laden with weapons in international waters
Private security companies rely on unregulated ‘floating armouries’ in Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean
By Oscar Rickett
10 January 2013
Private security companies guarding ships against Somali pirates are increasingly storing their weapons on so-called “floating armouries” in international waters, to avoid arms smuggling laws when they dock in ports.
About 20 ships stocked with assault rifles and other small arms as well as ammunition, body armour and night vision goggles are scattered around the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the EU naval force has confirmed.

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Maritime Security: The EUNAVFOR Says Armed Security Will Fail, Despite Successes

You know, I agree that eventually a boat with an armed crew will get taken one of these days. But even if one or two are taken, how would that possibly indicate any kind of potential failure? I mean look at the statistics so far?

According to the figures from EUNAVFOR, 90% of ships surviving a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden this year have credited a security team for aiding their escape.

I don’t know about you, but my math says that even if a couple of boats with armed security are taken, the overwhelming success of the boats that got away would still show the validity of the concept. That it works.

On the other hand, I do agree that eventually it will happen.  That is just the odds of the whole thing, because eventually the worst and most minimally staffed and armed security detail will be overwhelmed by a well armed pirate crew(s) that know what they are doing. But so far, that has not happened ‘god forbid’.  But I am not going to sit here and say that if does happen, that armed security on boats is a bad idea or that a few incidents will equal a failed concept.  That is just ridiculous.

It kind of reminds me of how contractors in Iraq or Afghanistan are viewed by the public, based on a few very highly publicized events. That the thousands of missions of success, are wiped out by one or two events?  Make no mention of the complexity of these conflicts, and just bash private industry as it tries to survive and win in such an environment. Pffft. It would be like bashing the concept of the Marines, because of Haditha? Or bashing the concept of the Army, because of their Kill Teams deal. Or bashing any of the branches for accidentally killing or harming civilians.

And here is where the public versus private debate really begins. Much like with the early privateers and their successes in US wars, Navy proponents will always become jealous and get competitive if private industry is looked upon as a good idea or had success. So likewise, at the end of those wars, there was always that element of anti-private industry in any of the scholarly treatments of the concept and that history, just because it helps knock down private industry a few notches. It is totally an ego/budget thing when it comes to matters of defense and the monopoly on the use of force. And guess who owns the military academies, or has massive budgets to promote how cool and effective they are? lol Exactly…..

So the only thing private industry can do, is to continue to prove it’s worth and improve upon the service it provides. To be the better idea, despite what anyone says.  I thoroughly expect to see this ‘perfect record’ be broken, and I imagine that these particular cases will be used against private industry by all those who stand to benefit from that.

I would like to hope that we are all on the same side in this fight. Or ‘expulsis piratis, restituta commercia’? That ego could be put aside, and the public/private partnership could actually be a strategic edge in this fight.-Matt


Bound To Fail
September 16th, 2011
Why are armed guards currently so popular? Well the answer is simple, no ship has yet to be taken by pirates with an armed team onboard.
But for how long can this continue? Well according to EUNAVFOR, not much longer.
Captain Keith Blount, chief of staff at the counter-piracy task force, speaking at a conference organised by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), believes that this 100% record will inevitably fail. He stated that pirates will take a ship with armed guards on board, it is simply a matter of time.
With piracy season in the Indian Ocean soon about to ramp up again due to the end of the monsoon season, these words may come to haunt an industry which has seen armed guards as the only ray of hope in an otherwise forlorn situation.

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