Category Archives: Royal Navy

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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MANAMA, Bahrain – United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore Ed Ahlgren OBE turned over duties as deputy commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to UK Royal Navy Commodore Adrian Fryer in Bahrain, Jan. 13. Ahlgren has served as CMF’s deputy commander since February 2021. Headquartered in Bahrain, CMF consists of 34 nations that form the world’s largest multinational maritime partnership. During Ahlgren’s tour, naval forces operating in support of CMF had a record-breaking year for counter-narcotics missions, and conducted maritime security and counter-piracy patrols in regional waters. “Serving as the deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces during the ‘Year of CMF’ has been a great pleasure,” said Ahlgren. “Aside from nearly 70,000 kilograms of drugs seized, the partnership has grown to 34 members and continues to be the archetype for a successful multinational organization. I wish Admiral Cooper, Commodore Fryer and the whole of CMF the very best of luck…

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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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Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi visited Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters in Bahrain, March 15. During the visit he met with Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M), the Pakistan Navy Commander of CTF-151, and Royal Navy Commodore Ed Ahlgren, deputy commander of CMF, to discuss Pakistan’s contribution to the enduring CMF partnership, and the ongoing success in deterring piracy from the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman. In the past year, there have been no successful piracy attempts on merchant vessels in the CTF-151 area of operations; no mean feat given the vast area of water covered. “CMF works so well because of the relationship between strategic partners, regional forces and international organizations to deliver maritime security operations and to build maritime security across the region,” said Ahlgren. “This in turn will benefit the overall commercial and military shipping industry by helping to safeguard…

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Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose has struck for a third time in less than five weeks. In an operation lasting 10 hours, the Montrose intercepted over 6100 lbs (2800 kg) of hashish and 110 lbs (50 kg) of heroin in the Arabian Sea, March 12, 2021. The boarding team from the ship, operating in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) seized the drugs – with a combined estimated wholesale value of over $4.5 million – following searches of suspicious vessels whilst undertaking a counter-narcotics patrol. This latest successful interdiction has further deprived criminal and terrorist networks of their ability to finance their operations through the transport and sale of illicit cargo.  HMS Montrose Commanding Officer, Commander Ollie Hucker said; “It is purely coincidental that this operational success falls on my last day at sea in Command. Be it the first day or the last day, these results…

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Two submariners currently serving as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 150 discovered an unusual connection with CMF’s Deputy Commander when they realized they had served on the very same submarine, but several years apart. Lt(N) Devin Matthews and PO1 Patrick Cooper-Mayer of the Royal Canadian Navy, were posted to the HMCS Windsor in 2005, where both sailors started their training and were soon awarded their dolphins, the coveted symbol of the submarine service. But HMCS Windsor was not always a Canadian submarine. In 1998, Canada purchased four Upholder Class diesel-electric submarines from the Royal Navy. One of these, HMS Unicorn, was where the now-Deputy Commander of Combined Maritime Forces, Commodore Ed Ahlgren, served and qualified as a submariner in the early 90s. Having come across Cmdre Ahlgren’s biography, both Matthews and Cooper-Mayer realized that they had a collective naval link with their Royal Navy colleague.…

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The Royal Navy has intercepted over 5300 lbs (2400 kg) of illicit drugs as a result of back-to-back successful interdictions in the Arabian Sea. The boarding team from HMS Montrose, operating under the command of CMF Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) found the drugs – with a combined estimated wholesale value of over $15 million (£10.9m) – following searches of suspicious vessels whilst undertaking a counter-narcotics patrol. In the most recent operation, which lasted over ten hours, over 4700 lbs (2145 kg) of hashish, heroin, and methamphetamine were seized. This came just two days after a separate bust in which 606 lbs (275 kg) of heroin was seized in the same area. Commander Ollie Hucker, HMS Montrose Commanding Officer said; “These interdictions have prevented significant amounts of illicit substances being sold on the streets, whilst denying criminal groups an income source often associated with the funding of terrorism.” CTF-150 operates…

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Deputy Command of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has been formally handed-over by Commodore Dean Bassett to his successor Commodore Ed Ahlgren OBE, in a short ceremony at CMF headquarters in Bahrain, Feb. 10. Commodore Bassett has served as Deputy Commander since June 2019. During his time in Bahrain, he has seen multiple successive anti-narcotics operations, keeping hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illegal contraband off the streets and disrupting terrorist groups’ financing. Counter-piracy efforts in the CMF Area of Operations continue to provide vital security and reassurance to merchant shipping, and capacity-building efforts in the region continue to thrive. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Cdre Bassett said; “Our nations have nurtured a shared vision of maritime security, and one of the biggest successes has been learning from each other. Together, we have kept significant amounts of harmful narcotics off the streets, disrupting terrorist groups’ financing and we’ve continued…

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Marines Band Corps of Drums
Cdre Warrender with Naval Reservists from the UK, Germany, Canada, France and Australia

Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces (DCCMF) Commodore (Cdre) William Warrender of the Royal Navy has met with Reservists under his command from five different countries.

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To see the video go to the CMF Facebook page or CMF Twitter…..

10/21