After just over four months of command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, the Canadian-led task force has made strong contributions to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) mission to increase regional maritime security and halt illicit smuggling in the Middle East.
Since Canada assumed command of CTF-150 on 27 January, 2021, the task force’s counter-narcotics efforts have been substantial. In partnership with navies from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, CTF-150 has led a total of 26 drug busts.
The numbers in terms of total interdictions are impressive: 78,555 lbs (35,632 kg) of hashish; 8,973 lbs (4,070 kg) of heroin; and a stunning 6,762 lbs (3,067 kg) of methamphetamine, a narcotic whose presence is emerging in regional smuggling circuits. Together, these operations have interdicted over $143.6 million dollars of narcotics, the proceeds of which are linked to the financing of regional terrorist and criminal organizations in the CMF area of operations.
With teams covering land, air and sea, the Canadian-led contingent came well equipped for what is their fifth command rotation of the task force since 2001. While HMCS Calgary is conducting interdictions at sea since its arrival in mid-April, air support is provided by a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140, a long-range patrol aircraft based out of the United Arab Emirates. These, amongst other coalition assets, all operating under the command of CTF-150, which runs its operations from CMF headquarters based in Bahrain.
“As our tenure of CTF-150 command eclipses the half-way point, it’s easy to focus on our impressive results at sea. Twenty-six interdictions of illicit narcotics with a value exceeding 143 million USD. That’s thousands of kilograms of poison off our streets and tens of millions of dollars out of the pockets of criminal and terrorist organizations. But it is only through the building and enhancing of key relationships, and the great collaboration between like-minded partners, that such success at sea is possible. Coupled of course with highly trained ships companies and aircrews and in sufficient number,” said Commodore Daniel Charlebois of the Royal Canadian Navy, Commander of CTF-150.
“Based on the importance of our maritime security mission we have been fortunate in our force flow. Through the support of CMF partners like the US, UK, France and Pakistan, CTF-150 has enjoyed great coverage at sea in an expansive area of operations which has allowed us to keep pressure on our adversaries and deny them the ability to move illicit cargo freely in the region. And of course, I would be remiss not to mention the great contribution of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force to our mission. HMCS Calgary, with her organic Helicopter Air Detachment, and our regionally based CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol Aircraft, have worked together to make a direct and tangible impact on operations. I am extremely proud of what our combined Canadian/Australian command team has accomplished to date and look forward to continued success during our remaining time leading this important operation.”
Canada will continue to lead CTF-150 until July 2021, after which it will turn over command to the Royal New Zealand Navy. The timeline for the counter-narcotics seizures under the current Canadian-led CTF-150 is as follows:
|Date of Narcotics Seizure||Ship in Direct Support to CTF-150||Type of Drug Seized||Weight (Rounded) in lbs and Kg|
|31 Jan, 2021||USS Philippine Sea, US Navy||Heroin||604 lbs (274 kg)|
|4 Feb, 2021||HMS Montrose, Royal Navy||Heroin||606 lbs (275 kg)|
|6 Feb, 2021||HMS Montrose, Royal Navy||Hashish, Heroin and Methamphetamine||4,471 lbs Hashish, 147 lbs Heroin, 110 lbs Methamphetamine (2,028 kg Hashish, 67 Heroin, 50 kg Methamphetamine)|
|12 Feb, 2021||FS Jean Bart, Marine Nationale (France)||Hashish||6526 lbs (2960 kg)|
|12 Mar, 2021||HMS Montrose, Royal Navy||Hashish, and Heroin||6,182 lbs Hashish, 110 lbs Heroin (2,804 kg Hashish, 50 kg Heroin)|
|19 Mar, 2021||FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)||Heroin and Methamphetamine||686 lbs Heroin, 809
lbs Methamphetamine (311 kg Heroin,
367 kg Methamphetamine)
|22 Mar, 2021||FS Surcouf, Marine Nationale (France)||Hashish||1,323 lbs (600 kg)|
|22 Mar, 2021||FS Tonnerre, Marine Nationale (France)||Hashish||6,762 lbs (3,067 kg)|
|24 Mar, 2021||FS Tonnerre, Marine Nationale (France)||Hashish||7,200 lbs (3,266 kg)|
|25 Mar, 2021||FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)||Hashish||1,354 lbs (614 kg)|
|5 Apr, 2021||FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)||Hashish, and Heroin||24 lbs Heroin, 7 lbs Hashish (11 kg Heroin, 3 kg Hashish)|
|8 Apr, 2021||FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)||Heroin and Methamphetamine||463 lbs (210 kg) Heroin, 564 lbs (256 kg) Methamphetamine|
|9 Apr, 2021||FS Guépratte, Marine Nationale (France)||Heroin and Methamphetamine||165 lbs Heroin, 1,380 lbs Methamphetamine (75 kg Heroin, 626 kg Methamphetamine)|
|14 Apr, 2021||FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)||Heroin||661 lbs (300 kg)|
|17 Apr, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Methamphetamine||3 lbs (1.5 kg)|
|23 Apr, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Heroin||2,835 lbs (1,286 kg)|
|24 Apr, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Methamphetamine||794 lbs (360 kg)|
|29 Apr, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Hashish||5,512 lbs (2,500 kg)|
|30 Apr, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Hashish||1,883 lbs (854 kg)|
|30 Apr, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Hashish||7,685 lbs (3,486 kg)|
|2 May, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Hashish and Methamphetamine||1,378 lbs Hashish, 1,157 lbs Methamphetamine (625 kg Hashish, 525 kg Methamphetamine)|
|4 May, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Heroin||732 lbs (332 kg)|
|11 May, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Hashish and Methamphetamine||13,003 lbs Hashish, 831 lbs Methamphetamine (5,898 kg Hashish, 377 kg Methamphetamine)|
|12 May, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Hashish||13,007 lbs (4,150 kg Hashish)|
|12 May, 2021||HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian Navy||Heroin and Methamphetamine||1,892 lbs Heroin, 1,109 lbs Methamphetamine (858 kg Heroin, 503 kg Methamphetamine)|
|12 May, 2021||FS Guépratte||Hashish||6,135 lbs (2,783 kg)|