Maritime security operations

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The Dutch ship HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (F802) responding to the South Korean-flagged fishing vessel Dong Won (628) in the Indian Ocean, April 4, 2006
US Navy officers aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) monitor defense systems during maritime security operations.

Maritime security operations (MSO) are the actions of modern naval forces to "combat sea–based terrorism and other illegal activities, such as hijacking, piracy, and slavery, also known as human trafficking."[1] Ships assigned to such operations may also assist seafaring vessels in distress. These activities are part of an overall category of activities which fall short of open warfare called military operations other than war (MOOTW).

An example of such operations is the involvement of the multinational coalition Combined Task Force 150, which performs Maritime Security Operations in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. During the Somali Civil War, they provided anti-piracy operations along the coast of Somalia in international waters. During the 2006—2007 war, they performed a cordon along the coast to prevent the escape of Al-Qaeda operatives by sea.

A primary component of MSO requires inspections and, at times, forced boardings of vessels at sea. These actions are called visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS). Also arrests and VBSS of ships which may have been sighted (via lookouts) from a distance to be underway and not responding to communications made to her or may have some form of smaller attached crafts which may be seen to be used as other means to attack larger crafts.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Maritime Security Operations". US Navy. Retrieved 2007-01-13.