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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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NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Royal Jordanian Navy Col. Mohammad Ismail Al-Tarawneh relieved Brazilian Navy Rear Adm. André Luiz de Andrade Felix, as commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 during a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Nov. 18. Established in 2009, CTF 151 is one of three task forces operated by CMF. CTF 151 enhances regional maritime cooperation and protects global maritime commerce by deterring, disrupting and suppressing piracy and armed robbery at sea. “At the end of my tour of duty as CTF 151 commander, I feel I have accomplished my mission,” said Felix. “This is only possible because of the work of the sailors from 34 different countries, whose professionalism, commitment, respect for differences and education make the combined task force ready and stronger…

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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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MANAMA, Bahrain–Commodore Dan Charlebois of the Royal Canadian Navy turned over command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) to Capt. Brendon Clark of the Royal New Zealand Navy in a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, July 15. CTF-150 is a multinational naval partnership aimed at disrupting terrorist organizations from conducting operations or moving weapons, personnel, or income-generating narcotics and charcoal in the maritime domain of the Arabian Gulf. The ceremony marked the end of a highly successful tour for Charlebois and the Royal Canadian Navy since taking command of the task force in January, 2020. During that time, CTF-150 interdicted 55,605 kg of illicit narcotics, worth an estimated $160 million. Commodore Edward Ahlgren, Deputy Commander CMF, congratulated Charlebois and his crew for their success. “That’s $160 million that will never enter into the pockets of malign forces. Success is never an accident. This kind of success is proof of…

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Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship HMCS Calgary conducted three successful counter-narcotics interdictions June 4-7, raising their total to 17 in eight weeks, and setting a record for the most interdictions by a vessel in a single deployment in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).  Calgary’s final three seizures include 9,160 lbs (4,155 kg) of hashish seized on June 4, and 474 lbs (215 kg) of heroin in two separate interdictions June 6-7. The estimated value of the seizures is over $4.37 million dollars.   “I’m so impressed with the work of HMCS Calgary and all of our international partners in Combined Task Force 150,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of CMF. “Setting the CMF record for maritime interdictions is a credit to the dedication and leadership of Calgary’s crew, and the Royal Canadian Navy.  More importantly, these interdictions resulted in the destruction of…

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The Pakistan Navy handed over command of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) to the Brazilian Navy in a change of command ceremony June 9.  This is the first time the Brazilian Navy has assumed command of CTF 151, a multinational force that counters piracy and protects global maritime commerce across an area encompassing the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, and southern Red Sea. Brazil are CMFs first South American members to undertake a period of command, highlighting CMFs unique role as a regionally focused coalition with a truly global membership.  Rear Admiral André Luiz Andrade Felix, Brazilian Navy, assumed command of CTF 151 from Commodore Abdul Munib SI (M), Pakistan Navy, at a ceremony at CMF Headquarters at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.  Presiding over the event was Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, U.S. Navy, Commander of Combined Maritime Forces, who…

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A French ship operating in support of a Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) task force has seized 456kg of methamphetamine and 364kg heroin, marking the third CMF drugs seizure in the last two months. While operating in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), the French Ship Floréal, a Floréal-class frigate, captured the drugs from a suspicious vessel as part of a counter-narcotics operation in the Northern Indian Ocean, Nov. 18, 2020. The seizure occurred on a route commonly known for drug smuggling, and the narcotics were openly visible on the stateless vessel. “In less than two months, CTF 150 has successfully intercepted over two tons of methamphetamine and hashish, and over 300kg of heroin,” said the task force’s Commander, Rear Admiral Sulieman Alfakeeh of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. “I would like to thank all of the sailors from our partner navies, as well as my staff…

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The Combined Maritime Force’s counter-piracy task force, Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) is set to change command from the Turkish Navy to the Pakistan Navy in December. Ahead of the handover, the current commander of the task force, Rear Admiral Nejat Inanir from the Turkish Navy, and the incoming commander, Commodore Abdul Munib from the Pakistan Navy, discussed the intricacies of the command, including how to address some of the restrictions caused by Covid-19 and the importance of engaging with regional key leaders. “I am really enjoying my command here at CTF 151.It is amazing to conduct counter-piracy operations in this region with my staff from nine different nations,” said Rear Admiral Nejat Inanir. “My team is working hard to prepare a smooth handover for you,” he added. Radm Inanir emphasized the importance of having an international composition in CTF 151, with the skillset provided by a variety of…

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Two ships, one operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), were called to assist a merchant sailor on board the merchant ship Lourdes in the early hours of 9 November 20. French Ship Jean Bart and Japanese Ship Ariake were called to conduct the emergency operation, which saw medical personnel from both vessels assist an Indian patient who had a suspected head injury. At 0100Z (0400 local time), a Japanese medic provided immediate assistance on board MV Lourdes, before coordinating with the French warship to arrange a medical evacuation by Panther helicopter. The two teams worked together in order to stabilize the patient, who was later evacuated to receive treatment at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Oman. The Japanese ship was conducting counter-piracy operations in the region at the time of the call, as part of CMF’s Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151). “This is the second…

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After six months conducting counter piracy operations with the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in the Gulf of Aden, the Japanese ship Ohnami prepares to return to her home port. The Takanami class destroyer has been working in support of the CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, a counter piracy task force which is currently led by the Turkish Navy. During their six month deployment JS Ohnami has accompanied hundreds of merchant ships in convoys to safeguard them from pirate attacks as they transit through the Gulf of Aden. The ship has also participated in a number of focused operations to deter piracy activity as the weather becomes more favourable for the pirates to operate small quick skiffs. “The JS Ohnami’s dedication and professionalism has been essential for successful counter piracy operations. Thank you very much for supporting CTF 151 in so many diverse ways,” said Rear Admiral Nejat Inanir, commander…

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