Category Archives: CTF-150

Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Power Royal Navy met his namesake Lieutenant Benjamin Power Royal Australian Navy whilst both were serving in the Indian Ocean.

The meeting of the two Powers took place whilst both were operating under direct support to Combined Task Force 150. Lieutenant Commander Ben Power Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) from HMS St Albans met up with Lieutenant Ben Power, also a PWO from Her Majesty’s Australian Ship Melbourne. The unlikely coincidence took place when the two ships took the opportunity to exchange members of each other’s crews for a few hours to see how the ships differ.

Powers
Lt Ben Power RAN and Lt Cdr Ben Power RN on board HMS St Albans – Photo Lt Cdr G Whyte RN.

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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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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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A Strength of having 30 nations operating together in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) partnership is the opportunity to train together and learn from one another, contributing to greater interoperability during operations. Pakistan Navy and Maritime Security Agency personnel recently had such an opportunity when participating in a five day Visit, Board, Search, Seizure (VBSS) training with the US Coast Guard Middle East Training Team in Manama, Bahrain.

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Commodore Brian Santarpia, Commander CTF-150 congratulates LT Kaleem Ullah from the Pakistan Navy for his participation to the training at the closing ceremony

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On 4 March 2015, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officials visited Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) staff to discuss common challenges and mutual cooperation.

“CTF-150 and the RCMP share common objectives in maritime crime and security, especially the trafficking of narcotics, profits from which are known to fund terrorist organisations,” said Commodore Brian Santarpia from the Royal Canadian Navy and currently Commander of CTF-150. “Through mutual cooperation, collectively we can become more successful in stopping maritime crime at sea that support terrorist-related activity.”

RCMP_Visits_CTF150 Commander CTF-150, Commodore Brian Santarpia, meeting an RCMP representative to discuss mutual cooperation.

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Sailors lower a rigid-hull inflatable boat from the destroyer USS Dewey during boarding operations.
Sailors lower a rigid-hull inflatable boat from the destroyer USS Dewey during boarding operations.

Warships, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft from New Zealand, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States have joined forces during Operation ‘Eureka’, a Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) counter-terrorism operation conducted in late February in the Northern Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman.

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Commander CTF-150, Commodore Brian Santarpia thanks SAS Queen Modjadji’s Executive Officer Lieutenant-Commander Mountfield for an informative tour of the South African Navy’s third Type 209 submarine.
Commander CTF-150, Commodore Brian Santarpia thanks SAS Queen Modjadji’s Executive Officer Lieutenant-Commander Mountfield for an informative tour of the South African Navy’s third Type 209 submarine.

Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, Commodore Brian Santarpia Royal Canadian Navy, recently visited the Republic of South Africa to discuss common maritime security challenges and potential cooperation opportunities between Combined Maritime Forces and the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF).

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