Royal Canadian Navy Led Task Force Making an Impact on Regional Smuggling

Royal Canadian Navy Led Task Force Making an Impact on Regional Smuggling

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.

Members of HMCS Calgary stand with their CMF record-breaking haul of 2,835 lbs (1,286 kg) of heroin seized from a dhow during a counter-smuggling operation in the Arabian Sea during OPERATION ARTEMIS and as part of Combined Task Force-150, 23 April, 2021. To date, HMCS Calgary has a combined total of eleven successful drug busts in just the three weeks they have been operating in direct support to CTF-150 from mid-April to May, 2021. (Photo credit: Corporal Lynette Ai Dang, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship CALGARY, Imagery Technician©2021 DND/MDN CANADA).

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.

French boarding teams from the FS Tonnerre capture 6,600 lbs of hashish on board a dhow in the Arabian Sea, March 22, 2021. The French Marine Nationale achieved a string five of counter-narcotics interdictions in just five days in the month of March, 2021, while in direct support to CTF-150. In total, the Marine Nationale conducted ten successful counter-narcotics seizures from March to April, 2021, while in direct support to CTF-150. (Photo: Marine Nationale).

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.

While operating in direct support to CTF-150, a visit, board, search and seizure team assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea board a dhow suspected of carrying narcotics in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea, Jan. 31, leading to the seizure of over 2.8 million dollars’ worth of heroin. The U.S. Navy had two drug busts very early on in the Canadian-led CTF-150 mission in January, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo)

“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.”

Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel from HMS Montrose stand with more than 6,200 lbs of narcotics seized from a vessel in the Arabian Sea, March 12, 2021. HMS Montrose conducted three successful counter-narcotics operations whilst in direct support to CTF-150 from February to March, 2021. (Photo: AET Josh Edwards RN)

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)
 
 
 
All figures correct as of 13 May, 2021.

 

All figures correct as of 13 May, 2021.

 

CTF 150 UK Seizures
All figures correct as of 13 May, 2021.

 

All figures correct as of 13 May, 2021.
 

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