Camp Pendleton Marines Join Fight against Somali Pirates

CrimeCrime, Law and JusticePiracySomaliaArmed ForcesRichard PhillipsDefense

San Diego - Marines from Camp Pendletonhave joined in the standoff with Somali pirates who are holding anAmerican freighter captain hostage on a lifeboat off the Somali coast.

The U.S. is moving lots of firepower to the area a few hundred miles off the coast of Somalia

The latest addition to U.S. Naval arsenal in the area is USS Boxer;a San Diego based massive amphibious ship carrying missile launchersand helicopters.  It has more than 1,800 Marines aboard, mostly fromCamp Pendleton, the Orange County Register reported. 

Two other Navy ships are already on scene, but while the Navy ramps up its presence, more pirates are en route as well.

Captain Richard Phillipsmade a run for it yesterday, jumping out of a lifeboat and into thewater. But the pirates caught him again, and a Somali man who's intouch with their organizer says they're threatening to kill him ifattacked.

TheSomali man says their plan was to help their colleagues in the lifeboatget Phillips to Somalia and a better negotiating position.

USSBoxer, the flagship of a multination anti-piracy task force, resemblesa small aircraft carrier.  It has a mobile hospital, missile launchersand about two dozen helicopters and attack planes.

The ship was involved in the Iraq War, and has Harrier attack planes, Super Cobra attack helicopters and Sea Sparrow missiles.

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