U.S. Personnel Remain Aboard
as Seized Tanker Returns to Libya
By Claudette Roulo, American
Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– March 25, 2014 – Twenty-five Navy personnel remain aboard the oil tanker
Morning Glory after a team of Navy SEALs boarded and took control of the
ship March 17, Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said today.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile
USS Stout is shown as it transited the
Mediterranean Sea during a deployment supporting U.S. 6th Fleet operations, Aug.
31, 2013. The ship is escorting the Libyan oil tanker Morning Glory
toward Libya after a March 17, 2014, Navy SEAL operation gained control of the
tanker from three armed men who had seized it.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st
Class Christopher B. Stoltz
U.S. forces took control of the tanker in international
waters at the request of the governments of Libya and Cyprus following its
seizure earlier this month by three armed Libyans.
"The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by
the Libyan government National Oil Company. The ship and its cargo were
illicitly obtained from the Libyan port of As-Sidra,” Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby,
the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement released yesterday.
The U.S. sailors aboard the tanker are supervising the
transit and performing security, navigation and communications tasks, Warren
said today, and the SEALs have left the ship.
“The USS Stout is escorting the Morning Glory towards
Libya. The three Libyans who had taken control of the Morning Glory
remain now under U.S. control aboard the Morning Glory,” the colonel said.
The 21-person civilian crew, consisting of six Pakistanis, six Indians, three
Sri Lankans, two Syrians, two Sudanese and two Eritreans, also remain aboard the
ship, he said.
The ship is underway to an as-yet undetermined spot in
international waters near Libya to await a final port decision, Warren said,
noting that discussions have begun on turning the three Libyans over to the
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @rouloafps)
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