Category Archives: CTF150

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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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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Commander Combined Task Force 150 (CCTF 150) Rear Admiral Muhammad Moazzam Ilyas SI(M) recently visited Tanzania and Kenya with the aim of promoting regional peace and stability and to enhance the existing level of cooperation between regional nations and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

Rear Admiral Laswai with Rear Admiral Ilyas and staff at the Tanzanian Navy HQ
Rear Admiral Laswai with Rear Admiral Ilyas and staff at the Tanzanian Navy HQ

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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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Commander Combined Task Force 150 (CCTF150) Rear Admiral Muhammad Moazzam Ilyas visited Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne whilst the ship was alongside in Bahrain prior to her sailing to the North Arabian Sea in support of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150).

Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas is welcomed on board HMAS Melbourne by the Commanding Officer Commander Bill Waters.
Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas is welcomed on board HMAS Melbourne by the Commanding Officer Commander Bill Waters.

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Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle is heading home to Sydney after a highly successful deployment to the Middle East Region, where she seized the second-biggest illegal drug haul in Combined Maritime Forces history.

HMAS Newcastle carries out a break-away from the French Replenishment Ship, FS Var, after conducting RASAPS (Replenishment at Sea Approach's) in which to hone their joint mariner skills as both ships carry out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean. *** 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 and is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.
HMAS Newcastle is deployed in the Middle East Region as part of Australia’s contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

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On July 30, France transferred command of Combined Task Force (CTF 150) to Pakistan, after a four month deployment at sea onboard French Ship Var, the CTF 150 flag ship. This completed France’s 9th command of the Combined Maritime Forces’ multinational maritime security and counter-terrorism task force.

Captain Crignola FN hands over the command of CTF150 to Rear Admiral Muhammad Moazzam Ilyas PN as Vice Admiral Miller USN looks on.
Captain Crignola FN hands over the command of CTF150 to Rear Admiral Muhammad Moazzam Ilyas PN as Vice Admiral Miller USN looks on.

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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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