Category Archives: CMF

In the last two months, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), through Combined Task Force (CTF)150, has put a real dent in the funding of terrorism, with the seizure and destruction of 1.7 tons of illegal narcotics off the east coast of Africa. While the ships involved in these interdictions are a highly visible element of the war on terrorism at sea, there are other agencies that are working behind the scenes and alongside the sailors, to make it all possible; one such agency is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

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Between mid-June and early July, French Ship Var, Combined Task Force 150 flag ship, made two port visits in Djibouti. These stops were the opportunity for the ship to conduct common training activities with the Djiboutian Navy as well as with the French Forces located in the country. It was also the occasion for Captain René-Jean Crignola, Commander CTF150, to meet with high level representatives, as part of CMF regional engagement program.

On the 7th of July, Captain René-Jean Crignola, French Navy, Commander CTF 150, meets with M. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Djiboutian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
On the 7th of July, Captain René-Jean Crignola, French Navy, Commander CTF 150, meets with M. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Djiboutian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle has seized 138kg of high purity heroin on 3 July 2015 likley bound for Tanzania, with an estimated street value of approximately $US 85 million.

HMAS Newcastle tracks a dhow on 03 July 2014 off the East Coast of Africa and from which it siezed 138 kg of heroin worth an estimated street value of around $108 million.  *** Local Caption *** HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF undertakes patrols in the broader northwest Indian Ocean to both combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism. The CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Newcastle is on her fifth deployment to the Middle East Region as is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.
HMAS Newcastle tracks a dhow on 03 July 2014 off the East Coast of Africa and from which it siezed 138 kg of heroin worth an estimated street value of around $108 million. HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).   This is Newcastle’s sixth successful heroin haul since being assigned to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, at the end of April, for Maritime Security Operations in the Indian Ocean.

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On Thursday 29 June, flag ships from Combined Task Force (CTF)150 and Operation Atalanta, both involved in Maritime Security Operations inside the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden, met at sea for on-going interactions.

Talks between CTF 150 and EUNAVFOR Commanding Officers

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In June 2015, French Ship (FS) Var, which is hosting CTF-150 commander Captain Crignola and his staff, stopped in Jeddah for a three days port visit. This was the opportunity for Captain Crignola to meet with several representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Navy, as part of a regional engagement program to improve maritime security in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) operational area.

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Capt Crignola, Commander CTF 150 with RAdm Ali Al Amri, Jeddah Naval Base Commander and Interim Commander of the Royal Saudi Navy Forces West Fleet.

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Mid-June 2015 saw Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 coordinate ships involved in maritime security operations to provide help to mariners in need in the Gulf of Aden.

On board German catamaran Tukan, some FS Var crew members are providing assistance to mariners in need.
On board German catamaran Tukan, some FS Var crew members are providing assistance to mariners in need.

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Captain René-Jean Crignola, Commander, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), visited La Fayette class, French Frigate (FF) Surcouf, in order to meet Commanding Officer, Commander (Cdr) Thomas Fraïoli. The FF has been part of CTF-150 taking part in maritime security operations throughout the Gulf of Aden, Somalia Basin and Indian Ocean.

Combined training between French and Djiboutian boarding teams.
Combined training between French and Djiboutian boarding teams.

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Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle, which is deployed in direct support to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 operations has seized and destroyed an additional 581kgs of high purity Heroin, with an estimated U.S street value of approximately $US 404million. This major catch is the largest and seventh successful haul led by CTF-150 units since France took command of the Task Force last April. Five of these drug seizures have been made by HMAS Newcastle’s crew, on the base of information provided by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

HMAS Newcastle's 19 June 2015 net haul of narcotics seized from a dhow as part of operations involving narcotics interdiction off the east coast of Africa
HMAS Newcastle’s 19 June 2015 net haul of narcotics seized from a dhow as part of operations involving narcotics interdiction off the east coast of Africa

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While navigating off the Somali coast, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 flagship, French Ship (FS) Var, linked up with two Spanish ships from the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Somalia otherwise known as Operation Atalanta, who were operating in the area.

Spanish Ship Galicia and French ship Var side by side during replenishment at sea in the Indian Ocean.
Spanish Ship Galicia and French ship Var side by side during replenishment at sea in the Indian Ocean.

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Representatives of the international maritime community met in Bahrain on Tuesday to discuss counter-piracy efforts at the 36th SHADE conference.

The Shared Awareness & Deconfliction (SHADE) conference offers a vital opportunity for military and civilian representatives to meet, share information and discuss cooperation opportunities to maintain the current suppression of piracy in the region. The conference discussed the causes of piracy, deterrence operations and the protection of merchant shipping.

Best Management Practices 4
Best Management Practices 4

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