Ship commanded by Black woman admiral rescued Maersk Alabama captain
April 26, 2009 · Print This Article
James Wright, AFRO
- While the facts surrounding the kidnapping and rescue of the Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips have been widely reported, less well-known is that ship which saved him was commanded by a black woman, Rear Admiral Michelle Howard. Howard received the assignment of leading the U.S. Navy’s counter-piracy task force just three days before the Maersk Alabama was attacked by Somalia pirates. “It’s probably one of the most exciting missions the Navy has been on in for a long while,” Howard told the Navy Times.
Howard is the first of her 1982 U.S. Naval Academy class to reach the rank of admiral. In 1999, Howard became the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Rushmore.