Royal Canadian Navy Led Task Force Changing The History of the Middle East

HMCS Calgary (Photo: Canadian Armed Forces)
HMCS Calgary (Photo: Canadian Armed Forces)
Big blow to terrorist organizations that gains from drug trade

After just over four months of command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, the Canadian-led task force has made strong contributions to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) mission to increase regional maritime security and halt illicit smuggling in the Middle East.

ctf 150 drug bust - naval post
Members Of Hmcs Calgary Stand With 1286Kg Of Heroin Seized From A Dhow During A Counter-Smuggling Operation On 23 April, 2021 In The Arabian Sea During Operation Artemis And As Part Of Combined Task Force 150. Please Credit: Corporal Lynette Ai Dang, Her Majesty’S Canadian Ship Calgary, Imagery Technician ©2021 Dnd/Mdn Canada

Since Canada assumed command of CTF-150 on 27 January, 2021, the task force’s counter-narcotics efforts have been substantial. In partnership with navies from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, CTF-150 has led a total of 26 drug busts.

The numbers in terms of total interdictions are impressive: 78,555 lbs (35,632 kg) of hashish; 8,973 lbs (4,070 kg) of heroin; and a stunning 6,762 lbs (3,067 kg) of methamphetamine, a narcotic whose presence is emerging in regional smuggling circuits. Together, these operations have interdicted over $143.6 million dollars of narcotics, the proceeds of which are linked to the financing of regional terrorist and criminal organizations in the CMF area of operations.

20210322 boarding teams from the fs tonnerre capture of 3000kg of hash on board a dhow in the arabian sea jda4022 - naval post
French boarding teams from the FS Tonnerre capture 6,600 lbs of hashish on board a dhow in the Arabian Sea, March 22, 2021. The French Marine Nationale achieved a string five of counter-narcotics interdictions in just five days in the month of March, 2021, while in direct support to CTF-150. In total, the Marine Nationale conducted ten successful counter-narcotics seizures from March to April, 2021, while in direct support to CTF-150. (Photo: Marine Nationale).

With teams covering land, air and sea, the Canadian-led contingent came well equipped for what is their fifth command rotation of the task force since 2001. While HMCS Calgary is conducting interdictions at sea since its arrival in mid-April, air support is provided by a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140, a long-range patrol aircraft based out of the United Arab Emirates. These, amongst other coalition assets, all operating under the command of CTF-150, which runs its operations from CMF headquarters based in Bahrain.

20210322 boarding teams from the fs tonnerre capture of 3000kg of hash on board a dhow in the arabian sea jda4022 1 - naval post
While operating in direct support to CTF-150, a visit, board, search and seizure team assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea board a dhow suspected of carrying narcotics in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea, Jan. 31, leading to the seizure of over 2.8 million dollars’ worth of heroin. The U.S. Navy had two drug busts very early on in the Canadian-led CTF-150 mission in January, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo)

“As our tenure of CTF-150 command eclipses the half-way point, it’s easy to focus on our impressive results at sea. Twenty-six interdictions of illicit narcotics with a value exceeding 143 million USD. That’s thousands of kilograms of poison off our streets and tens of millions of dollars out of the pockets of criminal and terrorist organizations. But it is only through the building and enhancing of key relationships, and the great collaboration between like-minded partners, that such success at sea is possible. Coupled of course with highly trained ships companies and aircrews and in sufficient number,” said Commodore Daniel Charlebois of the Royal Canadian Navy, Commander of CTF-150.

“Based on the importance of our maritime security mission we have been fortunate in our force flow. Through the support of CMF partners like the US, UK, France and Pakistan, CTF-150 has enjoyed great coverage at sea in an expansive area of operations which has allowed us to keep pressure on our adversaries and deny them the ability to move illicit cargo freely in the region. And of course, I would be remiss not to mention the great contribution of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force to our mission. HMCS Calgary, with her organic Helicopter Air Detachment, and our regionally based CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol Aircraft, have worked together to make a direct and tangible impact on operations. I am extremely proud of what our combined Canadian/Australian command team has accomplished to date and look forward to continued success during our remaining time leading this important operation.”

ctf 150 hms montrose - naval post
Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel from HMS Montrose stand with more than 6,200 lbs of narcotics seized from a vessel in the Arabian Sea, March 12, 2021. HMS Montrose conducted three successful counter-narcotics operations whilst in direct support to CTF-150 from February to March, 2021. (Photo: AET Josh Edwards RN)

Royal Canadian Navy will continue to lead CTF-150 until July 2021

Canada will continue to lead CTF-150 until July 2021, after which it will turn over command to the Royal New Zealand Navy. The timeline for the counter-narcotics seizures under the current Canadian-led CTF-150 is as follows:

Date of Narcotics SeizureShip in Direct Support to CTF-150Type of Drug SeizedWeight (Rounded) in lbs and Kg
31 Jan, 2021USS Philippine Sea, US NavyHeroin604 lbs (274 kg)
4 Feb, 2021HMS Montrose, Royal NavyHeroin606 lbs (275 kg)
6 Feb, 2021HMS Montrose, Royal NavyHashish, Heroin and Methamphetamine4,471 lbs Hashish, 147 lbs Heroin,  110 lbs  Methamphetamine (2,028 kg Hashish, 67 Heroin, 50 kg Methamphetamine)
12 Feb, 2021FS Jean Bart, Marine Nationale (France)Hashish6526 lbs (2960 kg)
12 Mar, 2021HMS Montrose, Royal NavyHashish, and Heroin6,182 lbs Hashish, 110 lbs Heroin (2,804 kg Hashish, 50 kg Heroin)
19 Mar, 2021FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)Heroin and Methamphetamine686 lbs Heroin, 809 lbs Methamphetamine (311 kg Heroin,367 kg Methamphetamine)
22 Mar, 2021FS Surcouf, Marine Nationale (France)Hashish1,323 lbs (600 kg)
22 Mar, 2021FS Tonnerre, Marine Nationale (France)Hashish6,762 lbs (3,067 kg)
24 Mar, 2021FS Tonnerre, Marine Nationale (France)Hashish7,200 lbs (3,266 kg)
25 Mar, 2021FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)Hashish1,354 lbs (614 kg)
5 Apr, 2021FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)Hashish, and Heroin24 lbs Heroin,  7 lbs Hashish (11 kg Heroin, 3 kg Hashish)
8 Apr, 2021FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)Heroin and Methamphetamine463 lbs (210 kg) Heroin, 564 lbs (256 kg) Methamphetamine
9 Apr, 2021FS Guépratte, Marine Nationale (France)Heroin and Methamphetamine165 lbs Heroin, 1,380 lbs Methamphetamine (75 kg Heroin, 626 kg Methamphetamine)
14 Apr, 2021FS Nivôse, Marine Nationale (France)Heroin661 lbs (300 kg)
17 Apr, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyMethamphetamine3 lbs (1.5 kg)
23 Apr, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHeroin2,835 lbs (1,286 kg)
24 Apr, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyMethamphetamine794 lbs (360 kg)
29 Apr, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHashish5,512 lbs (2,500 kg)
30 Apr, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHashish1,883 lbs (854 kg)
30 Apr, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHashish7,685 lbs (3,486 kg)
2 May, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHashish and Methamphetamine1,378 lbs Hashish, 1,157 lbs Methamphetamine (625 kg Hashish, 525 kg Methamphetamine)
4 May, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHeroin732 lbs (332 kg)
11 May, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHashish and Methamphetamine13,003 lbs Hashish, 831 lbs Methamphetamine (5,898 kg Hashish, 377 kg Methamphetamine)
12 May, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHashish13,007 lbs  (4,150 kg Hashish)
12 May, 2021HMCS Calgary, Royal Canadian NavyHeroin and Methamphetamine1,892 lbs Heroin, 1,109 lbs Methamphetamine (858 kg Heroin, 503 kg Methamphetamine)
12 May, 2021FS GuépratteHashish6,135 lbs (2,783 kg)

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the CTF-150 Assets.

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