Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle is heading home to Sydney after a highly successful deployment to the Middle East Region, where she seized the second-biggest illegal drug haul in Combined Maritime Forces history.
In mid-July, while patrolling off the coast of Oman, Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle and French Ship (FS) Var met at sea to lead several interactions. Both units were operating in the frame of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) missions, to fight against terrorism and related illicit activities inside the Indian Ocean. The ships Commanding Officer’s organised a cross deck and a tour between the two platforms to foster coalition relations. Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, CMDR Dominic MacNamara, along with eight members of ship’s company visited Surcouf while Newcastle hosted Surcouf’s Executive Officer and eight French officers and sailors.
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.
Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle, which is deployed in direct support to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 operations has seized and destroyed an additional 581kgs of high purity Heroin, with an estimated U.S street value of approximately $US 404million. This major catch is the largest and seventh successful haul led by CTF-150 units since France took command of the Task Force last April. Five of these drug seizures have been made by HMAS Newcastle’s crew, on the base of information provided by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
Maritime security operations by Australian and New Zealand frigates operating in the Middle East region over the past six weeks have seized almost 1,000 kilograms of narcotics worth an estimated $USD 625 million.
Members of Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle recently undertook extensive forensic boarding training from the US Coast Guard (USCG) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Middle East Field Office at the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Headquarters based in Bahrain.
Between the 27th of April and the 4th of May 2015, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150) ships French Ship Var, Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle and Seychelles Patrol Ship (PS) Constant took part in Task Force counter-terrorism exercises in the Indian Ocean.