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War is Boring: Iranian Naval Patrols Mystify Pirate-Hunting Coalition

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009

ABOARD USS DONALD COOK -- It was a rare moment of excitement on a long, tedious counter-piracy patrol. On the evening of Sept. 24, lookouts on the USS Donald Cook, a Virginia-based destroyer assigned to a NATO flotilla in the Gulf of Aden, spotted a mysterious shape on the horizon. The distant vessel did not respond to Donald Cook's hails as it loomed closer.

With the cry, "Ship of interest," crew members summoned Donald Cook's captain, Derek Granger. Interrupted during a rare bit of down-time, Granger climbed to the bridge wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Lighting his customary cigar, he joined lookouts on the port bridge wing -- a sort of outdoor deck attached to the ship's side -- and scrutinized the approaching vessel through binoculars. ...

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