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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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CMF, in partnership with EU Naval Forces (EU NAVFOR) will host the 47th SHADE Conference virtually on 3rd-4th November with representatives from across the maritime industry and regional and international militaries. The Shared Awareness and De-confliction Conference (SHADE), is a forum which brings together nations, international organizations and members of the shipping industry who share a common interest in combating piracy and broader maritime security issues. Each year, CMF and EU NAVFOR co-chair the conference, which includes working groups, as well as expert guest speakers discussing issues that affect maritime trade as well as ways to improve cooperation between the interested parties. This year, due to the global health pandemic, the SHADE Conference will be a hybrid event, hosted physically from the CMF Headquarters in Bahrain, and also virtually, via a video link. Alongside workshops with members of the maritime trade industry, senior representatives and flag officers from a variety…

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The Turkish-led Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) held a recent engagement with the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Ops) of Pakistan Navy, Commodore Faisal Amin via video conference. Rear Admiral Nejat Inanir of the Turkish Navy, the Commander of CTF 151, followed the current Covid-19 trend of using Zoom conference calling to discuss matters of mutual cooperation and security in the region. Pakistan will be assuming command of CTF 151 in December for a record ninth time, so this is a key time to prepare. RAdm Inanir thanked the longstanding support and contribution of the Pakistan Navy to the Combined Maritime Forces in general and for Counter Piracy operations in particular. Cdre Faisal commended the strong leadership of Turkish-led CTF 151.  He said: “All support will be provided to CTF 151 for Counter Piracy Operations as and when required.” Both Commanders agreed to provide further assistance and collaboration to…

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A Royal Navy ship working in direct support of a Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) operation led by CTF 150 has seized over 450 kilograms of methamphetamine, the largest seizure of its kind in CMF history. Sailors and Royal Marines on board HMS Montrose, a Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate, captured the drugs from a suspicious vessel during a counter-narcotics operation in the Arabian Sea.   The operation, which was part of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 150’s Operation Sea Shield, was an international effort involving a number of CMF’s 33 member nations and partners. “This has been the most successful counter-methamphetamine operation in CMF history,” said Commander of CTF 150, Rear Admiral Sulieman Alfakeeh of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. “I commend the hard work and team effort of all of our CMF partners, especially CTF 150 and HMS Montrose, who have worked together to make this historic seizure happen.”…

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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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