WASHINGTON, DC – US Navy SEALs yesterday boarded and took control of a commercial tanker ship that was seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a Defense Department news release issued today.
“No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker ‘Morning Glory,’ a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans,” Kirby said in the release.
The boarding operation, approved by President Barack Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cyprus, was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe, Kirby added.
“The SEAL team embarked and operated from the guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt,” Kirby said in the release. The USS Roosevelt provided helicopter support and served as a command and control and support platform for the other members of the force assigned to conduct the mission, he said.
“The ‘Morning Glory’ is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company,” Kirby said in the release. “The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained from the Libyan port of As-Sidra.”
The “Morning Glory” will be underway soon to a port in Libya with a team of sailors from the USS Stout embarked, Kirby said. The sailors will be supervising the transit, he added.
The USS Roosevelt is homeported in Mayport, Fla. and is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, Kirby said, adding that the USS Stout is homeported in Norfolk, Va.