Int'l Pirate Patrols Spar With Language Barriers

Diverse crews learn to communicate
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2009 2:25 PM CDT
South Korean Navy sailors salute in front of the destroyer "Great King Munmu," which will be sent to pirate-infested Somali waters.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The international fleet patrolling for pirates off the coast of Somalia is on guard against an oceanic traffic jam, too, the Military Times reports. One US admiral likened the problem to young soccer players swarming the ball, saying communications were necessary for an efficient response. There are three separate international forces in the region, as well as ships from countries seeking to protect their own shipping.

A US-formed task force, a NATO operation, and an EU fleet all operate in the region and have developed a protocol to coordinate action. “This is an excellent example of international coordination,” a British commodore said. The case of China, whose navy is defending its shipping interests, is slightly different. “We just email communications with the Chinese navy’s Yahoo account,” a Navy spokeswoman said. “What’s working really well is unclassified chat.”