Amphibious Assault Ship En Route to Pirate Ship Site

The USS Boxer is en route to scene of the pirate hostage standoff. Who knew we even had such a vessel?

The Boxer is the flag ship for a multination anti-piracy task force. The Boxer resembles a small aircraft carrier. It has a crew of more than 1,000, a mobile hospital, missile launchers and about two dozen helicopters and attack planes.

I wonder how long it will take to get there?

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    You're kidding (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by DaveOinSF on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:27:16 AM EST
    Defense officials say the USS Boxer will be nearby soon. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss sensitive ship movements.

    Who do we have working for the defense department who is secretly leaking information about sensitive ship movements and why hasn't he/she been fired yet?

    Don't you think this "unauthorized" leak (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:31:32 AM EST
    was to try and persuade the pirates on the life boat and their approaching backup the USN is "nearby"?

    Well (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:40:13 AM EST
    it's been on the web for 10 days that the Boxer is in the Gulf of Aden so it's safe to assume it has always been somewhat nearby.

    What kind of web access do you suppose the (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:02:19 AM EST
    the pirates have out there in their dinghy, 400 NM from shore...

    You don't really think (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:06:58 AM EST
    the four guys in the dinghy are anything more than pawns in the entire operation do you?

    Those are likely four paupers trying to earn a day's pay from the local boss who would be unlikely to ever venture away from the shoreline.


    I've seen reports that they have (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:57:26 AM EST
    a satellite phone.

    They must have something like that. (none / 0) (#21)
    by indy in sc on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:01:48 AM EST
    Otherwise, how would the negotiations be proceeding?

    There are no secrets... (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:17:24 AM EST
    Look at Google Earth...
    They can spot an ant.
    They can spot a spot on an ant.

    They sure can spot something the size of the USS Boxer.


    I agree with you on all these sources who (none / 0) (#18)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:45:01 AM EST
    aren't authorized to speak to the press being the source for secret information being leaked. Are the people who work in the gov't given training to understand that all those phantom sources are really the PR people and that just because the media has reported a variety of dozens of leaks this month does NOT mean they are free to spill what they know as long as they don't give out their name as the source? They might want to start throwing in a "WH Spokesperson" as the source more often and avoid everyone thinking they can chat with the press.

    Apparently there is still good reason (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:39:59 AM EST
    to have a navy. This is a proper use of military force if I've ever seen it.

    Plus, the latest version of the USS Boxer (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:45:39 AM EST
    was built in the good ole US of A.  

    In the hometown (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:47:17 AM EST
    of Jimmy Buffett to be exact.

    But a more pressing question: Why are they Somali pirates and not Somalian pirates.


    Saturday Morning with The Breakfast Club (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CoralGables on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:56:06 AM EST
    I believe I've been taken to school over my lack of Somali and Somalian history. I'm just thankful I didn't ask why they aren't called sommelier pirates.

    It's true. (none / 0) (#24)
    by shoephone on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 12:00:36 AM EST
    Mogen David is the viticultural ugly stepbrother of Manischewitz!

    Good Night and Good Pesach.


    Hey, thanks! (none / 0) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:40:00 AM EST
    I've heard a couple of news people say "Somalian" and wondered if it was incorrect. (Plenty of them say "Afghani," which is totally wrong, it's the currency, and "Afghan" is a person).  Sounds like they are using "Somalian" out of just ignorance, since we have no idea whether these guys are citizens of Somalia or not.  But you taught me something I didn't know this morning.  I appreciate it.

    Yes, it clarifies (none / 0) (#22)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:11:13 PM EST
    why the many refugees in my region call themselves Somalis (so I think it refers to former residents of Somalia, too).  So I have used that term but now know why.  Btw, those I met are a lovely people, hard-working here, and not piratical at all. :-)  It is clear that the economics and politics of their suffering homeland -- the lack of hope -- have led some others still in Somalia to terrible actions, and I hope that those here do not continue to suffer because of this.

    hm (none / 0) (#10)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:31:17 AM EST
    Ive been onboard a MARG like this before. I got a tour from a navy seal I met in a bar at the 50th anniversary of d-day.   They are very cool.

    Loaded with helicopters, marines and navy seals.

    TL - these are what the press commonly calls (none / 0) (#12)
    by scribe on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:49:16 AM EST
    "helicopter carriers".

    They're really an impressive piece of machinery, basically about the same size as a WWII aircraft carrier.  They are designed to put a bunch of Marines ashore (these days, they try insofar as possible to use helicopters rather than hitting the beach like in those WWII movies) and keep them supported while ashore, all the way through the hospital.

    Never been on one, but I've read about them.  Wiki has a nice writeup on this one.


    Really glad to hear this one was (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:54:47 AM EST
    built in 1991, as a previous version (used in WWII) was moored next to "our" supply ship in Norfolk during the Vietnam War.  

    Here's another nice writeup on the (none / 0) (#15)
    by scribe on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:59:58 AM EST
    whole class of these helo carriers.

    When you come right down to it, this one is actually bigger than the Essex class carrier Boxer (CV-21) you were probably acquainted with, which previously bore that name.


    We're not going to have (none / 0) (#16)
    by SOS on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:16:59 AM EST
    another black hawk down scenario this time when we raid Somalia.

    and hope we don't have (none / 0) (#19)
    by ding7777 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:51:16 AM EST
    another Jimmy Carter like failure as with Operation Eagle Claw