Category Archives: CTF-150

MANAMA, Bahrain – For the second time in 10 days, United Kingdom Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose (F236) interdicted a stateless fishing vessel transporting illegal drugs in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 24. Montrose was conducting a counter-narcotics patrol when it seized 150 kilograms of heroin, 250 kilograms of methamphetamine and 665 kilograms of hashish worth a total estimated U.S. street value of $18 million. “This seizure is a manifestation of the resolve and commitment of surface and air assets supporting Combined Maritime Forces to suppress and deter illicit activities at sea,” said Pakistan Navy Commodore Vaqar Muhammad, commander of Combined Task Force 150, one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces. Combined Maritime Forces is the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. The organization includes 34 nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet.

MANAMA, Bahrain – A United Kingdom Royal Navy frigate seized 1,041 kilograms of illegal drugs while transiting international waters during a counter-narcotics patrol in the Gulf of Oman, Jan. 15. HMS Montrose (F236) was operating as part of an international task force called Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, which has increased regional patrols to locate and disrupt unlawful maritime activity. CTF 150 is one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces. Montrose seized 663 kilograms of heroin, 87 kilograms of methamphetamine and 291 kilograms of hashish and marijuana worth a combined U.S. street value estimated at $26 million. “Our relentless efforts have resulted in a substantial seizure of illegal narcotics and I am extremely proud of my team,” said Cmdr. Claire Thompson, Montrose’s commanding officer. “Our enduring presence never wanes.” Montrose has been operating in the region since 2019 from Bahrain and periodically rotates its crew.   “Nine rotations…

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NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Pakistan Navy Commodore Vaqar Muhammad relieved Royal New Zealand Navy Capt. Brendon Clark as commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 during a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Jan. 18. Established in 2002, CTF 150 is one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to ensure that legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have commanded Combined Task Force 150, leading a professional, high performing and agile team,” said Clark. “As a staff we achieved outstanding results, seizing in regional wholesale value $74.5 million worth of narcotics – the second largest haul in dollar value from a command team in the 20-year history of CMF.” Clark served as the first commander of CTF 150 from the Royal New Zealand…

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MANAMA, Bahrain – One of Combined Maritime Forces’ three task forces has seized a record amount of illegal drugs in 2021, which included narcotics confiscated during eight successful interdictions in the Indian Ocean last month. Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 has seized more than $189 million worth of illegal drugs (at regional wholesale prices) during counter-narcotics operations at sea in 2021. The drugs seized this year have a higher total value than the amount of drugs the task force interdicted in the previous four years combined. CTF 150 successfully seized and destroyed 6,550 kilograms of heroin, 4,052 kilograms of methamphetamine and 56,834 kilograms of hashish so far this year, equating to over three times more methamphetamine than in any other year since 2016, and the largest amount of heroin since the task force’s establishment in 2002. The multinational partnership conducts maritime security and counter-terrorism operations at sea, outside the Arabian…

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French Marine Nationale frigate FS Languedoc, operating in support of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), seized more than 3,600 kilograms of illegal drugs during a maritime counter-narcotics operation in the Indian Ocean, Sept. 27. This was Languedoc’s second intercept and search of a vessel suspected of smuggling in the past seven days. The most recent seizure resulted in the confiscation of hash valued at $1.86 million. Languedoc was conducting patrols in support of CMF’s New Zealand-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it seized the illegal drugs. “For the second time in a week, Languedoc has demonstrated expertise and professionalism in seizing a large volume of narcotics that would have otherwise been destined for market, with the funds from the sale being used to finance terrorism and criminal activity,” said Royal New Zealand Navy Capt. Brendon Clark, commander of CTF 150. On Sept. 20, Languedoc seized more than 1,525 kilograms of…

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French Marine Nationale ship FS Languedoc, assigned to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized 902 lbs (409 kg) of heroin worth over $4.3 million dollars during a maritime counter-narcotics operation, June 6.  Within twenty-four hours of entering the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of operations, the French frigate identified a potential smuggler and began boarding procedures to identify and seize the illegal drugs, ensuring millions of dollars in proceeds were kept out of the hands of terrorist organizations and other groups who would have used this money to bring harm to others.   “The counter-narcotics operation we conducted on June 6 went very smoothly. The crew’s adaptability, and the support we had from CTF-150, was put to good use to conduct this operation effectively, despite the darkness and rough seas,” said Captain Yves Le Goff, commanding officer of FS Languedoc. “We are proud to have contributed to the fight against illicit…

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Canadian and Australian staff from the multinational Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) deployed to the Republic of Seychelles from May 1-14, 2021 to provide training assistance to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  Their goal was to help build the capacity of regional partners in maritime security operations.  The training involved participants from four nations – Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania, and Seychelles – who took part in both practical and theoretical courses related to Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) as well as Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The courses included search techniques, legal briefings, equipment and weapons handling, operational planning, safety procedures, practical exercises, and a swimming assessment.  Through their enhanced knowledge and practical training, recipients will be better positioned to contribute to enhanced maritime security and safety of navigation in the East African regional waters.  This is the first time that the multinational task force contributes to…

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The Marine Nationale’s (MN) FS Guépratte and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship HMCS Calgary, prove themselves unrelenting, making four rapid counter-narcotic seizures under CTF-150.    FS Guépratte commenced the successful streak with a seizure of 6,136 lbs (2,784 kg) of hashish on 12 May. HMCS Calgary followed the French frigate’s lead, striking in quick succession on 16, 17 and 18 May, seizing a combined haul of 15,465 lbs (7,015 kg) of hashish, 330 lbs (150 kg) of heroin and 529 lbs (240 kg) of methamphetamine.  The total of the four maritime interdictions has deprived regional terrorist and criminal organizations of over $11.5 million dollars.  “The anti-narcotics operation that we conducted on 12 May went very smoothly thanks to the great responsiveness of the CTF-150 command levels,” said Captain Guilhem Desvignes, commanding officer of the FS Guépratte.  “The professionalism of the crew allowed us to conduct the operation efficiently, despite working…

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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…

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Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Calgary rescued a sea turtle in distress while on counter-smuggling patrols in direct support to CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) off the coast of Oman. The rescue occurred around 7:30 a.m. on 4 May, after the turtle was spotted by the ship’s Navigating Officer Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) Evan Park. The turtle was struggling helplessly in netting and other debris that had formed together after being adrift at sea. Lt(N) Park sought approval by the ship’s Commanding Officer Commander (Cdr) Mark O’Donohue to dispatch a small boat team. “It’s unfortunate but we often see debris of this type at sea. I have made it a habit when on watch to take a closer inspection in these situations to see if sea life is in danger, when it’s safe for the ship to do so,” said Lt(N) Park. The small boat team was promptly dispatched, and…

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