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Doom Marine

3 Pirates Dead, Hostage Rescued

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http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/12/somalia.pirates/index.html

MANAMA, Bahrain (CNN) -- U.S. Navy snipers fatally shot three pirates holding an American cargo-ship captain hostage after seeing that one of the pirates "had an AK-47 leveled at the captain's back," a military official said Sunday.

The captain, who'd been held in a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean since Wednesday, was rescued uninjured, Navy Vice Adm. Bill Gortney told reporters.

Capt. Richard Phillips' ship, the Maersk Alabama, was stormed by pirates 350 miles off Somalia on Wednesday morning. He was "resting comfortably" on the USS Boxer after his rescue Sunday night, according to the Navy...


It's about time! USA! USA! USA!

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Yeah. Are you really back to work on DVII or was that just an excuse?

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What I find remarkable about this story is the conditions under which the pirates were shot.

The small lifeboat they were on was being towed by the larger destroyer at a distance of 82 feet, in rough seas. Three snipers on the deck of the destroyer each targeted a pirate and fired at exactly the same time, hitting their targets in the head, killing them all instantly. Their hostage was unharmed.

And as if that wasn't good enough, they did it in the dark, at 7:19pm.

Pretty damn impressive.

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Super Jamie said:

And as if that wasn't good enough, they did it in the dark, at 7:19pm.

Pretty damn impressive.

The snipers were reported to be using night-vision equipment, though given that their targets were inside a fully enclosed lifeboat I suspect they used thermal imaging.

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I would think they probably would've had some bright lights pointing at the life boat to see what was going on. Probably the best option, since the lights would make it nearly impossible for the pirates to see what was going on and slightly blind them, but make it easy for the snipers to see them. Otherwise they were probably using night vision or infrared, I doubt they took the shots in darkness. Still, impressive enough feat. Parachuting onto a boat without being detected, sneaking to the aft of the boat, and sniping three targets over 80 feet away almost simultaneously while both vessels were being churned by the sea. A huge kudos go out to the men who pulled off the operation, and Captain Phillips who risked his life to save his crew.

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BOOM! HEADSHOT!

(yeah, it's lame but someone had to say it...)

I just hope the snipers didn't go "OLOLOLOLOLLL!!!! I PWNED J00 NOOB!!!" afterwards...

About firing all at once: I once read that there is synchronized remote-firing equipment for sniper teams, exactly for those situations where targets must be neutralized all at once. So every sniper in a team keeps his rifle aimed at his designated target, but it's the team's leader that activates the simultaneous firing, rather than ordering it.

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Maes said:

About firing all at once: I once read that there is synchronized remote-firing equipment for sniper teams, exactly for those situations where targets must be neutralized all at once. So every sniper in a team keeps his rifle aimed at his designated target, but it's the team's leader that activates the simultaneous firing, rather than ordering it.

I would think that targets tend to go in and out of the line of fire for each rifle individually, so I have a hard time visualizing this.

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AndrewB said:

I would think that targets tend to go in and out of the line of fire for each rifle individually, so I have a hard time visualizing this.


How effective and applicable this is, is clearly circumstancial, however it does arise in practice, even in urban scenarios with walls etc. all it takes is one moment where all the targets are in view, plus they generally don't frolic and squirm around like excited ants.

On a small boat, at sea, with only a thin cabin to cover things up and nowhere to go, it's quite easy for a trained sniper to "acquire a lock" on someone's head or any other vital part, especially in distances below 100m. You'd have to run like crazy and convulse like you had tetanus in order to make it kinda hard for the sniper. Plus, ovelapping targets are really not much of a problem: at most you will kill more than one with one bullet ;-)

In any case, the distances and circumstances involved are more reminiscent or urban sniping and SWAT tactics, rather than wartime, so distances are much shorter and synchro-fire makes sense (you can't risk leaving one "bad guy" unharmed as he may retort against the hostages immediately).

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Maes said:

BOOM! HEADSHOT!

(yeah, it's lame but someone had to say it...)

I just hope the snipers didn't go "OLOLOLOLOLLL!!!! I PWNED J00 NOOB!!!" afterwards...

And then, of course, the teabagging.

Anyway, the part I find hard to believe is that they were able to keep their sights trained on them in rough seas. I mean, one sniper maybe, but all three? They must have been the best three goddamn snipers in France. That or there were like twenty snipers and they were just counting for at least one bullet to hit.

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Maes said:

BOOM! HEADSHOT!

I was thinking the same thing, Unreal Tournament voice and all :P

Danarchy said:

They must have been the best three goddamn snipers in France. That or there were like twenty snipers and they were just counting for at least one bullet to hit.


They were American Navy SEALs. There are only about 2000 SEALs in active duty, presumably because it costs so much to train them (even a regular naval officer has a pricetag over US$5M, these guys must cost a heap!) and so few actually have the skills to qualify.

The particular SEAL group that took on this mission is apparently the navy Special Developments Group, known as SEAL Team 6, who are supposed to be the elite of the elite. They are the navy's version of the army's special Delta Force group. Both groups are trained specifically for single-man and team-based counter-terrorism missions like this.

So, saying these guys are the best three snipers in America is a pretty accurate assumption.
(that sounds awfully patriotic, though for the record, I'm an Aussie)

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Oh, it was Americans. I thought this was the thread about the French one. People seriously need to stop making threads about this.

Also, I don't see how them being Americans makes this any more believable.

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Danarchy said:

Also, I don't see how them being Americans makes this any more believable.


Because in America everything is bigger and better. Everybody knows that.

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