It was just before midnight on a June evening in the north Arabian Gulf when I entered the combat information center of the USS Cushing (DD-985). As I expected, the night was getting busy. The Cushing's commanding officer already was in the space. He was not in the tactical chain of command for any boardings that night, but he had a direct interest in the surveillance effort. The helicopter reporting the movement of the dhows and transmitting an infrared television picture to us was one of the destroyer's Seahawks, and it was doing a good job. We saw very clearly that the dhows were moving as a group and that they were laden—and thus illegal. The only cargo carriers allowed out of Iraq under the United Nations' regime of sanctions are the supertankers that work under the "oil for food" program.
In Command in the Gulf
By Commodore James Goldrick, Royal Australian Navy