In this helmet cam video, we see a team of Dutch Marines fastrope from a helicopter and retake a container ship that had been boarded by Somali pirates.
How could I not post this video, since my blog title means “Firearm” in Dutch?
Beyond that, though, it’s pretty neat to watch. The pirates, facing real resistance from highly trained forces, quickly surrender. The crew, having locked themselves in a “safe room”, emerged after the ship was retaken, unharmed. The ship apparently had good “passive” anti-piracy countermeasures, but lacked armed guards. Although the pirates were armed with AKs, RPGs, and Tokarev pistols, they tend to look for soft targets.
One other interesting fact is that the commander of the Dutch ship took the initiative to retake the ship after being authorized to do so by his nation’s military commanders, rather than waiting for approval by European Union commanders, for the Dutch ship was under EU control. In this situation, it was definitely the right thing to do.
Something I noticed while watching the video was that the Dutch Marines were armed with 14.5″ M4 type weapons, and in the tight passages of a ship, such rifles are a little long. That’s why our VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) teams use 10.5″ M4 type rifles, aka Mk18s. Still, this didn’t prevent the Dutch Marines from doing an excellent job.