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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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NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Pakistan Navy Commodore Vaqar Muhammad relieved Royal New Zealand Navy Capt. Brendon Clark as commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 during a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Jan. 18. Established in 2002, CTF 150 is one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to ensure that legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have commanded Combined Task Force 150, leading a professional, high performing and agile team,” said Clark. “As a staff we achieved outstanding results, seizing in regional wholesale value $74.5 million worth of narcotics – the second largest haul in dollar value from a command team in the 20-year history of CMF.” Clark served as the first commander of CTF 150 from the Royal New Zealand…

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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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MANAMA, Bahrain – Two U.S. Navy ships seized 385 kilograms of heroin worth approximately $4 million from a stateless fishing vessel transiting the Arabian Sea, Dec. 27. U.S. Coast Guard personnel embarked aboard USS Tempest (PC 2) and USS Typhoon (PC 5) discovered the illegal shipment while conducting a flag verification boarding in accordance with customary international law. The confiscated drugs were destroyed at sea by U.S. forces. The coastal patrol ships were 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. “This latest seizure is a demonstration that CTF 150 and assigned surface and air assets are ready to conduct interdiction operations 365 days a year,” said Royal New Zealand Navy Capt. Brendon Clark, commander of CTF 150. In 2021,…

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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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French Marine Nationale frigate FS Languedoc, operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), seized more than 1,600 kg of illegal drugs during a maritime counter-narcotics operation in the Indian Ocean, Sept. 20. The intercept and search of a vessel suspected of smuggling resulted in the seizure of more than 1,525 kg of hash and 166 kg of methamphetamine with a combined value of over $5.2 million. Languedoc was conducting patrols in support of CMF’s New Zealand-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 when it seized the illegal drugs. “The seizure of narcotics from a dhow in the Indian Ocean is testament to the strong partnership between CMF, the Marine Nationale and CTF 150, said Royal New Zealand Navy Capt. Brendon Clark, commander of CTF 150. “Languedoc has once again demonstrated that through collaboration with like-minded partners, CMF is able to seize and destroy millions of dollars’ worth of narcotics,…

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NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Kuwait Naval Force Col. Ebraheem Al-Dawai relieved Saudi Border Guard Capt. Ali bin Madi Al-Qahtani as commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 during a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Sept. 2. Established in 2004, CTF 152 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). CTF 152 enhances regional maritime cooperation by focusing on illicit non-state actors in the Arabian Gulf. “With the dynamic environment that we operate in, it is more important than ever that our strong coalitions endure and thrive,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and CMF. Al-Qahtani served as the first commander of CTF 152 from the Saudi Border Guard and led a multinational staff of personnel from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  “Captain Al-Qahtani blazed a historic trail for the Saudi Border Guard as it was the first time…

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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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