Showing entries tagged [pirates]

Using METOC Geospatial Intelligence in anti-Piracy Operations

Anti-Piracy Stoplight

Although piracy has been around since nations have engaged in maritime trade, the scale and focus of attacks in and around the Horn of Africa has attracted significant attention over the past few years. The publicity reached a peak in April 2009 following the seizure of the Maersk Alabama and the direct involvement of the US Navy in the release of the ship's Captain. The extent of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and waters adjacent to Somalia led to the formation of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151) to conduct anti-piracy operations.

As part of their task force activities, the Royal Australian Navy's Hydrography and METOC branch began to analyze whether any weather-dependent patterns could be identified in the timing and distribution of piracy attacks. The study commenced with accessing the NGA piracy database and overlaying the location of each attack on the long-term climate average for monthly mean significant wave height (a measure of the combined height of the locally wind driven sea and the underlying long wave swell).

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