1 Jul 2011

NZ captain takes command of anti-piracy coalition

11:28 am on 1 July 2011

The New Zealander now in charge of the United States-led fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden says he does not feel endangered by the task.

Navy Captain Jim Gilmour begins three months in command of a coalition of ships patrolling waters near Somalia on Friday.


It is the first time in decades a Royal New Zealand naval officer has commanded a major multinational task force.

Captain Gilmour says his mission is to deter and destroy pirate ships if necessary, but he also has a diplomatic role to get local governments to help fight piracy.

He told Morning Report he does not feel his safety is at risk.

"I'll be sitting on a very capable ship and I have about five or six ships that are going to be part of our taskforce."

The ships head to sea on Saturday.