Running Gear Entanglement Systems Protect Ships and Facilities
Commander Stephen W. Surko, U.S. Navy (Retired), and Kenneth G. Bullard
On 24 April 2004, terrorist insurgents mounted a suicide-boat attack against Iraq's vital Khaer al Amaya offshore oil terminal near al-Basra. One boat was intercepted by a coalition boarding team; prior to boarding, it was exploded intentionally, killing two U.S. Navy sailors and one U.S. Coast Guardsman and injuring four others. Within 20 minutes of the interception, two other terrorist boats managed to penetrate the exclusion zone around the oil terminal and were engaged by Iraqi security personnel using small arms. Both boats exploded near ships tied up at the terminal. No damage to the offshore facility was reported, but authorities immediately shut it down, although it is one of only two terminals capable of handling Iraqi crude oil for export.