Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 has made a second seizure of drugs in under two weeks in the Arabian Sea. On 13 March, the United States Ship (USS) LABOON seized 270 kg of heroin concealed on a dhow that had been tracked by a helicopter from the Royal Navy’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Victoria.
The USS LABOON’s boarding team conducted a thorough search of the dhow that resulted in the discovery of the heroin. While such operations are complex and challenging, the ship’s boarding teams are highly professional and trained specifically for this role. Commander Jason Labott, Commanding Officer USS LABOON said, “The execution of this operation demonstrates the abilities of multinational forces to coordinate across great distances for the common good of the international community. The hard work and professionalism of our boarding team, LABOON’s crew, air crews from RFA Fort Victoria, and the shore side support of CTF 150 and CTF 55 deserve great credit. Keeping these drugs off the street helps everyone, and keeps money from those who use the profits for harm.”
In less than two weeks since the successful seizure of 800 kg of hashish by the Australian Ship HMAS Arunta, the Commander of Combined Task Force 150, Commodore Haydn C. Edmundson from the Royal Canadian Navy, said, “This is another big win for Combined Maritime Forces and we in CTF 150 HQ are very impressed with the superb cooperation of all units and organizations involved in this successful operation; we are particularly proud of the Captain and crew of USS LABOON for their excellent performance on this important mission.”
Commander Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan said, “The impressive work of Combined Task Force 150, under the leadership of Royal Canadian Navy Commodore Haydn Edmundson, continued last night with the second successful seizure of illegal drugs in less than two weeks. The seizure on 2 March by HMAS Arunta and last night’s seizure by USS LABOON has resulted in preventing more than a thousand kilograms of hashish and heroin from reaching their destination and will prevent transnational terrorists from profiting off these nefarious activities.” He added, “The continued successes of CTF 150 demonstrate the value of the multinational collective of like-minded nations that make up the Combined Maritime Forces and certify that when navies work together all nations profit with increased maritime security.”
Established in 2002, CTF 150 is primarily focused on disrupting terrorist organizations and their activities by denying them the freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain. In collaboration with international and regional maritime security partners, CTF 150 teams have seized and destroyed billions of dollars in drugs and captured thousands of weapons ensuring they are no longer available to organizations that would cause others harm.