The Use of the AIS System

Published 15 years ago, updated 4 years ago

For more information on AIS, read the noonsite article[Broken Link] written by communications expert Alan Watson on how the technology can benefit cruising sailors.

Addressed to LCDR Brett Morash USN, of the CJTF-Horn of Africa

Dear Brett,

This is Swede Lars Hassler on the 50′ sailing yacht “Jennifer” presently cruising the Med. I have an AIS Class B transmitter onboard and will sail through the Suez Canal in 2010 on my way to the Pacific.

I found out about your test with AIS and MSSIS on and am very interested to know how it works, although I am not sailing in the Gulf of Aden until 2010.

If you have any information available at this point I would appreciate it to receive your thoughts about the system.

For us long distance cruisers the Gulf of Aden and adjacent waters are a huge problem and scare, so thank you and US Navy for taking an interest in this piracy problem.

Best regards,

Lasse Hässler


Thanks for writing.

There is a system called MSSIS which is a U.S. government system (Department of Transportation partnered with the Navy) to leverage the AIS system that the IMO mandated.

One of our missions here in the Horn is to get our partners here (Yemen and Djibouti in particular) to work together. These antennas are being installed throughout the Gulf of Aden and it allows not just U.S. forces but legitimate governments’ coast guards, SAR Centers, Navy as well as coalition naval forces operating in the GOA and BEM, to see the information (e.g. location, speed, name). One of the things I am trying to do is teach the Yemenese and Djiboutians how to operationally use this information to make they’re patrolling more efficient and provide information to the larger coalition naval forces.

I am attaching a nice brief on the MSSIS technology, which increases maritime domain awareness.

On a personal note I started with noonsite’s website because they had so much information on convoys, which of course was a battle proven method in previous maritime campaigns, and with these new systems coming in it would be easy for naval forces that we deal with to track them. To be honest I don’t know much about the AIS systems on smaller vessels so I will have to do some more research when I am back in NYC next week.

Thanks and have a great day.

Please keep in contact when you get closer to your transit time.

Very Respectfully,


LCDR Brett Morash USN

CJTF-Horn of Africa

TSC Branch Head

PSC 831

FPO AE 09363-9998

DSN: 318-824-4946

COMM: 00-253-358-978

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