Lindsey Graham on Stiletto
As you may know, the M80 Stiletto is a shallow draft craft that can go fast and can carry necessary military equipment needed to police the waters off the coast of Somalia. The M Ship Company, like you, believes this marine vessel would have been perfect for rescuing the kidnapped American freighter captain from Somali pirates (meaning Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama), chasing down deep-water drug smugglers, or for terrorism surveillance in seaports laden with gigantic freighters. The company is trying to fast track some of these boats into production so they can be demonstrated to the Navy and possibly used in future pirate encounters.
As you know, the situation in Somalia is of grave concern. The United Nation Security Council recently granted authority for United States military operations on Somali territory and in its airspace to curb pirates off the coast of Somalia. United Nations Resolution 1851 authorizes several nations already patrolling the waters around the Horn of Africa to take all necessary and appropriate measures in Somalia to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea. Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are now on the docking ship San Antonio, the flagship of Task Force 151, a multi-national force assigned to patrol the Gulf of Aden to discourage and if necessary confront the pirates.
I am thankful for the heroic efforts of the Navy Seals crew who successfully rescued Captain Richard Phillips. The men and women serving our nation around the world perform heroic efforts everyday. I will keep your thoughts in mind regarding use of M80 Stiletto ships as I work with colleagues in the Senate Armed Services Committee and as I meet with senior leaders, like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to monitor pirate actions.