Exciting times for Canada as the Canadian-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 saw success at sea with one of its own warships. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina seized and destroyed 2,569 kg of hashish on April 6, 2019 in the Indian Ocean. This marks the first successful boarding for HMCS Regina, currently operating under the direction of Commodore Darren Garnier, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Commander CTF 150.
The boarding took place when HMCS Regina spotted a dhow off the coast of Oman suspected of smuggling narcotics. The ship deployed its Naval Tactical Operations Group, the RCN’s enhanced boarding party that specializes in Maritime Interdiction Operations, to investigate the vessel further. A search was conducted, upon which 119 bags of hashish was located in the ice hold.
Commander Jacob French, Commanding Officer of HMCS Regina said: “This seizure is a testament to the months of hard work HMCS Regina has conducted in preparation of our operational deployment. I’m very proud of the professionalism of our Naval Tactical Operations Group boarding team, as well as our entire ship’s company. It’s an all ship effort to do what we do. Although successful, this seizure does indicate the continued trade in illegal narcotics in the region, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in support of the CTF 150 mission.”
Commodore Darren Garnier added: “Had CTF 150 not intervened, the hashish would have been sold locally, or in other markets, with the profits benefitting organized crime networks and terrorist organizations. A job well done to HMCS Regina, and thank you for your support to CTF 150 operations. Bravo Zulu!”
Led by the RCN and supported by the Royal Australian Navy, the CTF 150 Task Force has been highly successful in intercepting illegal narcotics in the region. Since taking command on December 6, 2018, the Task Force has directed eighteen drug seizures, totaling in over 33,000 kg of illegal narcotics seized and destroyed to date.
Commodore Garnier and his Task Force change command to the Pakistan Navy on April 11, 2019. HMCS Regina will remain under CTF 150 command until early June, 2019.
Canada is a member of CMF and has been contributing to CTF 150 through Royal Canadian Navy warships, Royal Canadian Air Force maritime surveillance, and/or staff to operate at CMF Headquarters since the beginning of the partnership in 2001.