Sailor from North Andover helps hand over Somali pirates

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Saturday October 16, 2010 - 20:11:39 in News In English by Xarunta Dhexe
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    Sailor from North Andover helps hand over Somali pirates

    When the USS Princeton, a guided missile cruiser, sailed into the port of Mombasa, Kenya, this week, a young Navy officer from North Andover was aboard.

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When the USS Princeton, a guided missile cruiser, sailed into the port of Mombasa, Kenya, this week, a young Navy officer from North Andover was aboard.


Ensign Connor Flynn, 23, a 2006 graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., was part of a team that helped hand over nine suspected Somali pirates to Kenyan authorities to face trial.

The suspected pirates were captured by Marines along the Gulf of Aden last month after they attempted to hijack a German merchant vessel headed to Vietnam.

The operation was authorized by President Barack Obama and made international headlines. A picture of Flynn and some of his shipmates in the port of Mombasa was distributed worldwide by The Associated Press.
The 567-foot USS Princeton is part of anti-piracy operations covering areas in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Somali coastline, and the Persian Gulf.

"On September 8, 2010, we received a distress call from the crew of a merchant ship called the Magellan Star that it was being pirated," Flynn said in an e-mail to The Eagle-Tribune yesterday. "A joint rescue mission followed which included sailors and Marines of USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Dubuque (LPD 8), which resulted in a rescued merchant crew and 9 detained "suspected pirates," who happened to be of Somali descent. The detainees were held aboard USS Princeton until October 12, 2010, when they were turned over to Kenyan authorities." According to reports, the ragtag group of pirates had "a handful of weapons," including two AK-47 assault rifles, and were captured "unopposed." The merchant crew was unharmed.

Flynn wrote in his e-mail that after the capture "we continued our missions in our operating area for the next month with the detainees aboard USS Princeton while the U.S. State Department negotiated with our allies where they would be tried and imprisoned. Thanks to the efforts by the State Department, Kenya agreed to be the host nation. It just took them one month to get it done ... diplomacy takes time."

Flynn is the son of Dr. Daniel Flynn of Wakefield, a physician at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, and Noreen Flynn of North Andover.
"We are incredibly proud of Connor and what he is doing," Noreen Flynn said yesterday. "As a mother you hope your son is never in danger, but this is what he is doing at this time and we are certainly proud."
His father, who was an Army medical officer in Iraq and is currently on a medical mission in the Eastern European country of Moldova, said in a telephone interview yesterday that his son is often a member of teams aboard rigid hull inflatable boats that surround the main ship in port as a buffer against terrorists.
"I don't like to see him in harm's way but he is a bright kid and he will avoid any unnecessary risk," Flynn said. "He has always been interested in serving this country. He is very committed and has been committed for a long time."

Connor Flynn noted that the Oct. 12 transfer of the suspected pirates in Kenya came exactly 10 years after the terrorist attack on the destroyer USS Cole in the Yemini port of Aden, which killed 17 sailors and injuring 39 others.
"In terms of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) patrolling near the sides of the mother naval warship providing security as she pulls into a foreign port in a country with a sympathetic population to the nearby Somali Al Shabaab (terrorist group), it is absolutely necessary," he said in his e-mail to The Eagle-Tribune.
When not on duty, Connor Flynn is a resident of Wakefield, where he lives with his wife, Kamila Budzicz Flynn, who he married in 2009, and their 16-month-old son, Sean.

Noreen Flynn said her son was always interested in sports growing up and loved to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club in Lawrence during the summer and after school while he attended Phillips Academy. He attended North Andover public schools from third until ninth grade before transferring to Phillips.
She said her son played football, wrestled and was on the crew at Phillips and continued to row at the Naval Academy during his freshman year. He graduated with a degree in international relations and a minor in the Russian language.

Rohosafi,

English News Staff
Email: englishnews@live.com

Akhrise hoos kadhiibo fikirkaaga


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