A boarding team from the guided-missile destroyer Jason Dunham captured more than 1,000 AK-47 rifles from a vessel sailing in the Gulf of Aden.
Navy officials said the warship intercepted the stateless skiff while it was drifting without engine power on Tuesday. The boarding team determined that the vessel was not flagged to any nation and then discovered the cache of weapons.
The Gulf of Aden is a bustling waterway that abuts Somalia and Yemen, two nations undergoing civil wars, but officials have been unable to determine the source of the weapons, according to a Navy press release.
“Ensuring the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic and securing the sea lanes of communication continue to be paramount to the U.S. Navy and its regional partners and allies, and I am proud of Jason Dunham’s sailors for accomplishing the mission,” said Cmdr. John Hamilton, the destroyer’s commanding officer.
Once aboard the destroyer, personnel from the Dunham medically evaluated the skiff’s crew before turning them over to the Yemeni Coast Guard.
Neil is a former US Army Captain and served operational deployments in South Korea and Afghanistan. He is currently an Editorial Fellow at the Military Times.