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 $189 million worth of illegal drugs (at regional wholesale prices) during counter-narcotics operations at sea in 2021. The drugs seized this year have a higher total value than the amount of drugs the task force interdicted in the previous four years combined. CTF 150 successfully seized and destroyed 6,550 kilograms of heroin, 4,052 kilograms of methamphetamine and 56,834 kilograms of hashish so far this year, equating to over three times more methamphetamine than in any other year since 2016, and the largest amount of heroin since the task force’s establishment in 2002. The multinational partnership conducts maritime security and counter-terrorism operations at sea, outside the Arabian…
The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Commander’s Conference took place in Bahrain on 2 Feb 16. The bi-annual conference brings together senior military representatives from CMF members, to update them on CMF’s achievements, assess operational effectiveness and discuss, in an open forum, ways of improving and developing CMF capabilities.
In his opening remarks, the Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Donegan USN, highlighted the unique nature of CMF as a coalition and the complexities of the operating area. He stressed the importance of maintaining the free flow of commerce, enabled by maintaining freedom of navigation through the strategically important choke points of the Bab el Mandeb Strait, the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal.
The multi-national Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has reached an impressive milestone and seized in excess of eight tonnes of heroin since January 2013. This recent triumph confirms CMF as one of the most successful maritime security forces in the world.
The latest seizure was made by Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Melbourne and was the fourth drugs haul of their deployment. The Boxing Day discovery on a small vessel, known as a dhow, yielded 118 kilograms of high-grade heroin with an estimated value of US$ 82.8 million.* Once a thorough search of the dhow was completed by the ship’s boarding team the illegal narcotics were transferred to HMAS Melbourne for analysis and then destruction at sea.
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.
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).
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.
Representatives from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) attended the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Counter Narcotics Seminar and Workshop in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 27 and 28 January 2015. The event aimed at enhancing awareness and aligning international efforts to combat the challenges posed by narcotics trafficking in the Middle East.
In an effort to support East African and Indian Ocean nations in enhancing their maritime security responses and information sharing on common maritime threats, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) personnel recently participated in multinational maritime security exercise Cutlass Express 2015.
Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Toowoomba operating as part of Pakistan-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) has achieved her second successful drugs haul in 72 hours, stopping another batch of narcotics, worth $132million, reaching the streets.