At 0530 on a quiet Saturday morning, 5 November 2005, a hail of automatic weapons fire rained down on the Seabourn Spirit. Piercing the hull, a rocket-propelled grenade crashed into a cabin of the luxury cruise ship. For the 302 passengers and crew, there was no police or coast guard to provide immediate assistance. They were under attack by pirates in international waters and far from help. Despite the damage, the ship was able to evade her persuers.
Less than a year later, a dhow plying the ancient trade route between India and Africa was taken over in international waters by ten Somali pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles. Fortunately for the 16 Indians on board, there was a U.S. warship nearby. When the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) encountered the besieged dhow, her immediate mission was clear: gain control of the vessel and detain the pirates.