The Royal Australian Navy has taken command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) after conducting a handover ceremony with the Pakistan Navy. CTF 150’s principal mission is to suppress the exploitation of the maritime environment by those with terrorist links.
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.
Two Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warships assigned to Combined Task Force 150 recently helped members of the merchant marine in distress on the high seas. In two separate incidents HMCS Toronto and HMAS Newcastle responded to calls for help from merchant vessels in need of medical aid. <!–more–> HMAS Newcastle was on patrol in the Southern Indian Ocean when she received word of a fire aboard MT Perla. Despite bad weather, Newcastle and the EUNAVFOR warship SPS Numancia raced to provide aid, with Newcastle’s doctor transferring to the Perla to treat two badly-burned crew members. They were then winched aboard Newcastle before being transferred to Numancia, which whisked them to hospital in the Seychelles. The next day HMCS Toronto, this time on patrol in the northern Indian Ocean, responded to a request for a casualty evacuation from the merchantman BBC Iceland. Within moments a medical team from Toronto was in…