Category Archives: Counter-Narcotics

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Cdre Hatcher receives a gift from the Chief of the Kenyan Navy MAJGEN Mghalu

Commander Combined Task Force 150 (CCTF150), Commodore Jaimie Hatcher AM, RAN conducted a very successful Key Leader Engagement (KLE) in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya in the period 2 to 10 March 2016. A priority for the KLE was to enhance multi-agency and multinational efforts to counter terrorism and narcotics smuggling from the Makran Coast to Eastern Africa.

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HMAS Darwin’s boarding party teams recently boosted their counter-terrorism skills as the warship begins maritime patrols in the Middle East region where it will be working alongside other members of the 31 nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

During Darwin’s stopover in Bahrain, the Australian sailors conducted a week of “visit, board, search and seizure” (VBSS) tactics training. The fast paced combination of classroom and practical training was provided by the United States Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) Maritime Engagement Team (MET).

Operation Manitou
A Royal Australian Navy sailor, of HMAS Darwin, conducts visit, boarding, search and seizure training in the United States Coast Guard facility in Bahrain.

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The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Commander’s Conference took place in Bahrain on 2 Feb 16. The bi-annual conference brings together senior military representatives from CMF members, to update them on CMF’s achievements, assess operational effectiveness and discuss, in an open forum, ways of improving and developing CMF capabilities.

In his opening remarks, the Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Donegan USN, highlighted the unique nature of CMF as a coalition and the complexities of the operating area.   He stressed the importance of maintaining the free flow of commerce, enabled by maintaining freedom of navigation through the strategically important choke points of the Bab el Mandeb Strait, the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal.

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Group photo of CMF members at the Commander’s Conference

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The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) made another seizure of heroin as part of their latest string of successes in combatting illegal narcotics.

Under the direction of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150), the crew of Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne recently completed a fifth successful drug seizure by seizing about 65kg of heroin from a dhow in the Indian Ocean.

HMAS Melbourne
HMAS Melbourne personnel dispose of 65kg illegal narcotics (heroin) seized from a dhow in the northern Indian Ocean.

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The multi-national Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has reached an impressive milestone and seized in excess of eight tonnes of heroin since January 2013. This recent triumph confirms CMF as one of the most successful maritime security forces in the world.

The latest seizure was made by Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne and was the fourth drugs haul of their deployment. The Boxing Day discovery on a small vessel, known as a dhow, yielded 118 kilograms of high-grade heroin with an estimated value of US$ 82.8 million.* Once a thorough search of the dhow was completed by the ship’s boarding team the illegal narcotics were transferred to HMAS Melbourne for analysis and then destruction at sea.

HMAS Melbourne Narcotics seizure
HMAS Melbourne Ship’s Company load onboard an illegal cargo of narcotics. HMAS Melbourne intercepted the fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean and a subsequent search of the vessel revealed over 118 kilograms of high-grade heroin valued at AUD$108.8 million.

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The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have continued their success against illegal narcotics and made another seizure of heroin off the coast of East Africa. This latest haul of 216 kilograms of high purity heroin has an estimated value of approximately US$148 million.

Operation Manitou
HMAS Melbourne intercepts a fishing vessel suspected of smuggling illegal narcotics. A subsequent search of the vessel revealed over 216 kilograms of high-grade heroin

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Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne, working for the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in the Middle East, has made another seizure of illegal narcotics off the coast of East Africa.

 

HMAS Melbourne
Members of the Ship’s Company in HMAS Melbourne inspect 151 kilograms of heroin discovered in a vessel off the Tanzanian coast.

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Special Agent Patrick Price brought a special brand of law enforcement to Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne while on patrol in the Arabian Sea.

Special Agent Patrick Price (left) of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) prepares to board a fishing dhow suspected of illegal drug smuggling in the Arabian Sea.
Special Agent Patrick Price (left) of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) prepares to board a fishing dhow suspected of illegal drug smuggling in the Arabian Sea.

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Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne, working for the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in the Middle East successfully intercepted a small cargo vessel, known as a dhow, smuggling 427 kilograms of heroin in the Indian Ocean, on 1 October 2015. The drugs, which have now been destroyed, had an estimated street value of $174 (US) million, a value based on an average purity of 60%, which is the approximate historic average seized in 2014.

HMAS Melbourne keeps watch over an intercepted dhow in the Indian Ocean. HMAS Melbourne's crew boarded the vessel and discovered 427kg of heroin that was confiscated and subsequently destroyed.
HMAS Melbourne keeps watch over an intercepted dhow in the Indian Ocean. HMAS Melbourne’s crew boarded the vessel and discovered 427kg of heroin that was confiscated and subsequently destroyed.

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