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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Combined Maritime Forces News

HMAS Melbourne Makes Fifth Drug Bust

HMAS Melbourne's boarding party are seen during initial discussion with a crew member of a dhow in the northern Indian Ocean. Later investigations revealed 65kg of heroin hidden in the deck of the dhow. Photo RAN

The crew of HMAS Melbourne have completed a fifth drug seizure for Operation MANITOU after seizing about 65kg of heroin from a dhow in the Indian Ocean. The hidden drugs were discovered when Melbourne’s boarding party search of the suspect vessel during Melbourne’s last maritime security patrol with the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) before handing over to HMAS Darwin and returning to Australia. The heroin was seized and transported onboard HMAS Melbourne for further analysis before it was then disposed at sea.

HMAS Melbourne Returns

HMAS Melbourne Photo RAN

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne is returning home to Australia after completing more than 50 boarding operations and seizing almost a tonne of heroin during a Middle Eastern deployment. The guided missile frigate handed over maritime security responsibilities to sister ship, HMAS Darwin, after five months of operations in support of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and more than six months away from home. Commander Bill Waters, Commanding Officer of Melbourne, commended…

US Ship Seizes Heroin in Arabian Sea

Official U.S. Navy file photo

USS Laboon (DDG 58) intercepted a small stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea March 13, seizing 270 kilograms of heroin. Laboon, conducting maritime security operations in the region as a part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, was conducting an inspection of the vessel as part of a flag verification boarding when the illicit cargo was found. "Keeping these drugs off the street helps everyone, and keeps money from those who use the profits for harm," said Cmdr. Jason Labott, Laboon's commanding officer.

HMAS Darwin Seizes Huge Weapons Cache

The large illicit weapons cache was destined for Somalia Photo by RAN

HMAS Darwin’s boarding team has uncovered and seized a large weapons cache, following a boarding of a fishing vessel during their deployment to the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU. Operating under Combined Task Force 150, responsible for counter-terrorism operations within the Middle East Region, Darwin intercepted the fishing vessel approximately 170 nautical miles (313 kilometres) off the coast of Oman to conduct a flag verification boarding. After assessing the vessel to be stateless…

USS Laboon Makes Second Drug Bust in a Week

Photo: United States Navy

For the second time in five days, guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) intercepted a small, stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea and seized 500 kilograms of Hashish, March 17. Laboon, conducting maritime security operations in the region as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, conducted an inspection of the vessel as part of a flag verification boarding and found the illicit cargo. Lt. Dan Foley, the boarding officer who led the team which made the seizure…

HMAS Arunta Small Weapons Go Technical

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Navy’s deployed ship in the Middle East, HMAS Arunta, has had its small arms weapons inspected, serviced and certified during a recent port visit. HMAS Arunta is serving on a nine-month Operation MANITOU deployment which has necessitated an all-important maintenance period. With all previous ships only spending six months away, the requirement to have weapons inspected and maintained while in the area of operations had not been required. The fly-away team was required as embarked…

Maritime Security a Year-Round Duty

Commanding Officer HMAS Arunta Commander Cameron Steil watches over HMAS Arunta's boarding party as it conducts a boarding while on patrol in the Middle East Region. Photo: oyal Australian Navy

While many Australians spend Anzac Day off work, Royal Australian Navy personnel around the world will remain on watch, contributing to global security, stability and prosperity. On operations in countries as far from home as Afghanistan and South Sudan, in regions such as the Middle East and in waters offAustralia’s northern borders. Their work is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but they will take some time off on 25 April to honour the sacrifices made by past and present service men and women.

UK, France, US Sign Trilateral Submarine Agreement

Vice Adm. Louis-Michel Guillaume, left, commander of French Submarine and Strategic Oceanic Forces, Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, middle, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and Rear Adm. Robert K. Tarrant, commander Operations of the Royal Navy, sign an agreement to increase coordination for anti-submarine warfare activities between France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.  Photo: United States Navy

Naval leaders from the United Kingdom, France and the United States signed an agreement June 1, designed to increase coordination for anti-submarine warfare activities of the three countries as they operate in the 5th Fleet area of operations. Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan signed the trilateral agreement with Vice Adm. Louis-Michel Guillaume, commander, French Submarine and Strategic Oceanic Forces (ALFOST) and Rear Adm. Robert K. Tarrant, commander, Operations of the Royal Navy, at Donegan's headquarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Arabian Shipping at Risk of Al Qaeda Attack

Photo: Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

Al Qaeda's Yemen branch remains a powerful force and poses a growing risk to merchant ships in vital waterways nearby despite efforts by Yemeni government forces and their allies to push back the group, Reuters reports quoting a top officer in an international naval force. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) confirmed on Saturday it had withdrawn from the southern Yemeni port of‎ Mukalla - a week after Yemeni government and Emirati soldiers seized the‎ city that was used by the Islamist militants to amass a fortune.

CTF 150 Makes Record Number of Drug Busts

Photo: United States Navy

In a four-month span, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces has proven itself a formidable force against narcotics trafficking, with 10 drug seizures totaling over 3,300 kilograms of heroin, cocaine, cannabis resin and hashish since March. It started with the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) on March 2, when the crew seized 800 kilograms of hashish, a drug made from cannabis. Eleven days later on March 13, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) seized 270 kilograms of heroin and then again on March 17…

HMAS Arunta Departs the Middle East to Australia

HMAS Arunta's S70-B Helicopter (Skeletor) lands onboard during a patrol in the Middle East region. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta is returning home to Australia after completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment by a Navy vessel since 1990. Arunta concluded its assignment to Joint Task Force 633 as part of Operation MANITOU and handed over responsibility to HMAS Newcastle after completing a nine-month deployment conducting counter terrorism and maritime security operations. The ship made three significant intercepts during the deployment netting more than 1310 kilograms of illegal narcotics.

HMAS Arunta Returns Home

HMAS Arunta's crew lines the deck in 'Procedure Alpha' as the ship returns to her home port of Fleet Base West, Rockingham after completing a nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Arunta has sailed into her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia, after completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment of an Australian Navy vessel since the first Gulf War. Senator for Western Australia, Linda Reynolds; Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer; and family and friends of the ship’s company welcomed the Anzac class frigate home after her nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU. During her deployment, Arunta intercepted…

HMAS Newcastle Joins Cousin for Replenishment

HMAS Newcastle (front) and Pakistani Naval Ship Alamgir conduct a replenishment at sea with United States Naval Ship Kanawha in the Middle East region. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Newcastle has marked her second Operation MANITOU patrol with a dual replenishment at sea in the Gulf of Aden with USNS Kanawha and Pakistan Navy Ship Alamgir. The resupply presented Newcastle with the opportunity to operate with another Oliver Hazard Perry class (called Adelaide class in Australia) ship, in Alamgir. Newcastle’s embarked MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter launched to record the evolution from the air and for Seaman Boatswain Ben Robertson, it was another highlight in what has so far been “a surreal experience” on operational deployment.

Japanese Navy Ship Teruzuki Visits India

Passage Exercise 'PASSEX' in Kochi on 11 September 2017 between Indian Naval Ship Sunayna and JMSDF Ship Teruzuki. Photo: Indian Navy

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Ship Teruzuki visited Kochi from 09 to 11 September 2017. Captain Masashi Kondo, Commander Escort Division Six is sailing onboard JS Teruzuki, a destroyer which is being commanded by Commander Seiichi Hashimoto. Captain Masashi Kondo, Commander Escort Division Six accompanied by the Commanding Officer of Japanese Ship Teruzuki had called on Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, VSM, the Chief Staff Officer (Training) of Southern Naval Command (SNC) on 09 September 2017 wherein professional subjects of common interest to both navies were discussed.

Coalition Forces Render Aid to an Iranian Fishing Vessel

Official U.S. Navy file photo.

In coordination with the European Union Naval Force and the Turkish-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, which is a part of the Combined Maritime Forces, the U.S. Navy provided assistance to an Iranian fishing vessel after a reported piracy attack Oct. 24, south of Socotra, Yemen. The Iranian coast guard called U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) to report the incident and seek assistance for the fishing vessel. NAVCENT coordinated with the European Union Naval Force, who sent a patrol aircraft to investigate the incident. The U.S.

Newcastle’s Operations Complete

HMAS Newcastle. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Newcastle has rounded out her busy six-month deployment to the Middle East, completing some ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ for Australian Navy ships in the region. During her demanding deployment, she patrolled about 25,500 nautical miles or five times the distance around Australia. She conducted a range of Combined Maritime Forces operations, including an attachment in support of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, and trialled emerging naval capabilities. Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois said the deployment included many highlights.

Australian Navy Seizes Drug Haul in Middle East

HMAS Warramunga's boarding team prepare to board a vessel of interest, subsequently finding narcotics onboard. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The crew of the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga have spent the Christmas season hard at work, spending nearly three days seizing almost eight tonnes of hashish and 69 kilograms of heroin from drug smugglers while conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea. Warramunga intercepted and boarded three suspect vessels between 27 and 29 December 2017, in an operation planned and coordinated by the Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 150 which is currently commanded by Australia—supported by a combined Australian-Canadian staff.

Yemen Conflict Forces New Security Recommendations

An EUNAVFOR vessel at sea on patrol (EU Navfor)

In response to the threats arising from the conflict in Yemen, BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO have published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb. Shipowners and operators should be aware of new threat patterns in the area. The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have advised that a range of threats other than piracy, such as sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs), are potential risks in the area.

New Marine Security Recommendations for Southern Red Sea

BIMCO's Head of Maritime Security raise some keys points before ships navigate in this region. Photo: BIMCO Video

In response to the threats arising from the conflict in Yemen, BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO have published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb. Shipowners and operators should be aware of new threat patterns in the area. The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have advised that a range of threats other than piracy, such as sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs), are potential risks in the area.

Navies Bust $274 million of Heroin

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion flies past HMAS Warramunga's boarding team during an operation in the Western Indian Ocean. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australian and New Zealand joint forces have seized 915 kilograms of heroin, valued in excess of $274 million, in a counter-narcotics operation in the Western Indian Ocean. HMAS Warramunga’s crew has conducted one of the largest drug seizures in Operation MANITOU’s history as part of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150. In a joint counter-narcotics operation, the Royal Australian Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force seized 915 kilograms of heroin valued in excess of AUD$274 million.

Aussie Navy Seizes eight tonnes Hashish

Parcels of narcotics seized by HMAS Warramunga lay on the upper deck of a vessel as part of an illicit cargo seizure during a narcotics interdiction operation Photo Royal Australian Navy

The crew of Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga has intercepted two vessels and seized approximately eight tonnes of hashish valued at approximately $400 million during operations in international waters of the Arabian Sea. Warramunga has now seized 19.5 tonnes of hashish and 1.5 tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of $1.43 billion* since deploying to the Middle East in November 2017. On 3 March Warramunga’s Seahawk helicopter crew detected a vessel of interest during surveillance operations. A boarding party searched the vessel, uncovering 4.1 tonnes of illicit cargo.

Tenth Successful Interdiction for HMAS Warramunga

Photo: Australian Government

HMAS Warramunga’s crew has seized record amounts of narcotics on Operation Manitou following their latest interdiction. In the latest haul, the crew of the Royal Australian Navy frigate seized approximately 132 kilograms of heroin valued at almost $40 million while patrolling international waters of the Arabian Sea on 6 March 2018. The illegal narcotics interdiction is Warramunga’s third seizure in the past seven days having also seized in excess of eight tonnes of hashish from two vessels just days earlier.

Arunta Sails for Extended Mission

Friends and family of HMAS Arunta farewelled their loved ones from the wharf at Fleet Base West as the ship departed for Operation Manitou in the Middle East Region. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

There was a sombre tone at HMAS Stirling, in Western Australia, as the 191 men and women serving in HMAS Arunta said goodbye to loved ones and joined the frigate to depart for close to nine months in the Middle East. Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer was on the wharf to wish the ship safe passage and following seas as she transited to the mission under Operation MANITOU. “You will continue a proud tradition of making a difference, enhancing security, fostering trade and commerce in support of Government aims,” he said.

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