CTF 150 concludes successful drug intervention off African coast


The Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), operating in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, has successfully concluded Operation Crimson Barracuda, a focused operation aimed at countering narcotics smugglers in the allotted area.

During the operation, units from the Royal Navy, Indian Navy, US Costal Guard, and US Navy seized approximately 4 917 kg of narcotics, including two seizures in one day. Indian and American air assets as well as Canadian space-based intelligence conducted surveillance and reconnaissance of suspicious vessels, contributing to the operation’s success.

The Royal Navy Duke-class Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster interdicted over 800 kg of hashish, 390 kg of methamphetamines, and 110 kg of heroin on 10 April. Later that day, the US Coast Guard Sentinel-class fast-response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr (WPC 1147) seized 257 kg of meth, 311 kg of hash, 17 kg of amphetamines, and 92 kg of heroin.

The following day, Lancaster seized and destroyed 2 000 kg of hash from a dhow, preventing the narcotics from being used to fund criminal activities.

The Indian Navy’s Talwar-class frigate INS Talwar boarded a suspected dhow, resulting in 453 kg of meth, 71 kg of heroin, and 416 kg of heroin being confiscated and destroyed. This seizure was also the Indian Navy’s first seizure as a CMF member, having joined last November.

“Crimson Barracuda was a great success, which can be attributed to the strong cooperation between CMF member nations,” said Royal Canadian Navy Captain Colin Matthews, CTF 150 commander.

He said he is extremely proud of the work that was done during this focused operation. “It proves the value in working as a multilateral team to deter and disrupt criminal and terrorist activities at sea.”

CTF 150 & CMF

CTF 150 is one of five task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the world’s largest international naval partnership. CTF 150’s mission is to deter and disrupt the ability of non-state actors to move weapons, drugs, and other illicit substances in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.

Combined Maritime Forces is a 43-nation naval partnership upholding the international rules-based order by promoting security and stability across 3.2 million square miles of water encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

Written by Africa Ports & Ships and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.