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As the sun began to rise on Friday, April 1, pirates attacked the bulk carrier MV Arrilah-I. The "handy size bulk carrier", owned by Abu Dhabi National Tanker Company, was returning from Australia en route to Dubai. It should have been the beginning of a familiar process. The captain would send an SOS, the crew would do their best to barricade themselves in, and the pirates would eventually take control and start sailing the ship towards one of their coastal storage point. Then long and debilitating negotiations would drag on for months with the ultimate goal being a payment of a $5 - 9 million dollar ransom. This was not to be.
The government of the UAE joining a growing list of nations who decided that was not going to happen. Within hours, the air force and special operations force "Group 18", based at Al Nakheel Air Base, were briefed and launched. They moved offshore of Oman, landed on the ship, taking advantage of nighttime to rope men onboard the ship from their specially modified UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to surprise and overcome the pirates. As the sun rose less than 24 hours later on Saturday, April 2, the outcome pleased everyone except the pirates, who will be jailed and charged in the U.A.E.