Category Archives: CTF150

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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HMCS Calgary has intercepted four suspicious dhows off the coast of Oman during a string of high-tempo operations, leading to the seizure of illicit narcotics worth over $14.4 million in just three days.  The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warship conducted three back-to-back drug interdiction operations on 30 April, seizing 15,071 lbs (6,836 kg) of hashish. Calgary’s operational success continued on 2 May, with a high-value interdiction of 1,146 lbs (520 kg) of methamphetamine, 1,378 lbs (625 kg) of hashish and 11 lbs (5 kg) of heroin. This is the latest in a series of six seizures in just seven days made by Calgary whilst in direct support of CMF’s Canadian-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.  “Four more major busts for HMCS Calgary and in only three days. This could not have been done without the incredible around-the-clock effort of the ship’s company and support from Combined Task Force 150,” said…

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The French Marine Nationale ship (FS) Jean Bart has intercepted over 6500 lbs (2900 kg) of illicit drugs on February 12, 2021, in the latest successful Combined Maritime Forces interdiction in the Arabian Sea. After spotting a suspicious dhow and later investigating it using the ship’s Panther helicopter, the crew of the Jean Bart observed multiple packages being thrown overboard. The subsequent search and recovery operation seized 148 parcels containing 6526 lbs (2960 kg) of cannabis resin, known locally as hashish. The total market value of this bust amounts to over $1.5 million. Captain Ouk, commanding officer of the ship said; “I am very proud that Jean Bart and her crew could contribute to the coalition fight against illicit trafficking that feeds international crime and terrorism. This seizure results from the good co-operation amongst Combined Task Force 150 and our good knowledge of this area where French units operate on…

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A French ship working in support of a Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) task force has seized over one tonne of hashish worth $8 million, 8 November 20. Sailors on board French Ship Floréal, the lead Floréal-class frigate, captured the drugs from a suspicious vessel during a counter-narcotics operation in the Arabian Sea’s infamous ‘Hash Highway’. The ship was operating in support of CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) at the time of the seizure, which comes just weeks after a Royal Navy ship working as part of a CTF 150 operation intercepted over 450kg of methamphetamine.   “This seizure marks yet another successful drugs bust by CTF 150,” said the task force’s Commander, Rear Admiral Sulieman Alfakeeh of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. “With two successful drugs seizures in a matter of weeks, we are proving that we are a formidable force against drug smugglers, keeping millions of dollars of…

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ARABIAN SEA – While operating under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) provided assistance to a motor vessel in distress in the Arabian Sea, Oct. 15. The Iranian-flagged dhow signaled to Churchill via flashing light that it was in distress. When hailed over bridge-to-bridge radio, the vessel’s crew explained that their engine would not start due to a dead battery and they had run out of food and water. The Churchill’s boarding team transited to the dhow via a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) and conducted an initial seaworthiness inspection. They provided the mariners with food and water. After verifying, Churchill did not have the type of battery required by the vessel, they requested assistance from Oman Coast Guard. Churchill remained on scene until Omani authorities arrived to render further assistance. The Churchill’s crew strictly adhered to coronavirus (COVID-19) mitigations of social distancing and…

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