Diary of a Pirate Takedown, From One Who Was There by Michael Walsh 12 Sep 2010 post a comment Share This: Despite the abject failure of leadership at the top, the Navy and Marines still know how to fight and win. From the U.S. Naval Institute blog, here's an eyewitness account of the takedown of some Somali pirates by Capt. Alexander Martin. It's written in military-ese, but the narrative will give you a glimpse into how the military actually works. It should be required reading in the White House: I was in my stateroom that morning having a cup of coffee when Major Mike “Honcho” Ford, a burly southerner with a cowboy’s drawl, knocked on my door. “Hey man,” he said calmly, “we got a ship that’s been pirated. No official tasking yet, I’ll pass you a sitrep when I get it. Go ahead and put the guys on alert-120.” As the 15th MEU’s Maritime Raid Force Commander, the platoon and I had been training with “Honcho” for nearly a year for this mission, so what happened over the next 60 minutes was by now a well-rehearsed standard operating procedure. I called down to the men’s berthing. Few words were exchanged between my acting-platoon sergeant, Staff Sergeant Hartrick, and myself. “Staff Sergeant, skipper” “Yes sir.” “A vessel’s been taken by pirates – I don’t have much else for you at this time. Set alert-120.” “On it, sir.” We both hung up. The guys swung into action, pulled pre-staged shooter’s kits, body armor, weapons, ammunition, communication and breaching equipment and moved it to our assembly area. Comm was op-checked, weapons were function checked and set in the best condition possible, shooters performed their pre-assigned tasks to meet our conditions for a 120 minute alert status while assistant team leaders conducted simultaneous individual inspections: flotation devices, chem lights, breathing devices, roster cards, tourniquets, medical equipment, lights, night vision, weapons, comm…all given one last op-check. I barked out a quick warning order and dropped my kit at our assembly area and moved to the ship’s tactical control center. Be sure to read the whole thing.