ArticleCS - Article View

HMAS Warramunga seizes 7.8 tons of narcotics in the Gulf of Oman

By Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, Office of Public Affairs | December 30, 2017


Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga (FFH 152), currently deployed as part of Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized 7.8 tons of narcotics during a series of boardings Dec. 27-29 in the Gulf of Oman.


HMAS Warramunga conducted detailed searches of suspect vessels, discovering more than 390 20-kilogram bags of narcotics valued at over $325 million, including 7.8 tons of hashish and 69 kilograms of heroin.


 “Australia has a long standing commitment to the CMF in the Middle East region, and HMAS Warramunga is the latest RAN vessel committed to this fight against terrorist operations,” said Commodore Mal Wise of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), commander CTF 150. “For decades, the men and women of the RAN have regularly seized drugs and other illegal cargoes from the high seas. CTF 150 and HMAS Warramunga’s efforts reflect the commitment of all CMF nations to assuring the free flow of trade in the region and enhancing maritime security.”           


This seizure by Warramunga follows the tradition of previous RAN ships working with CMF, which in total have seized more than 24,200 kilograms of narcotics since 2012. In 2017, CMF ships seized a total of 19.17 tons of narcotics.  Visit, board, search and seizure operations at sea require a persistent and methodical approach by CMF sailors and marines. It is challenging and painstaking work requiring the detailed investigation of every compartment and space throughout a suspect vessel.


Warramunga is no stranger to working with CMF, having been first deploying with CMF operations over a decade ago. This tour, Warramunga and her 190 sailors departed Fleet Base East at Garden Island, Sydney, for CMF on Oct. 9. 


HMAS Warramunga’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Dugald Clelland, RAN, said the ship’s company are highly trained and motivated to carry out the ongoing mission. He stated “The men and women who serve in HMAS Warramunga have worked very hard preparing the ship for this long deployment. This will be the ship’s third deployment to the Middle East and we carry forward a considerable legacy.  For 27 years, Australian warships have made significant contributions to peace and security in the region and we are deeply committed to continuing this legacy and honouring the service of those who have come before us. We sail with the knowledge that our friends and families will support us the entire way as we work to make the world safer and more stable.”

Established in 2002, CTF 150 is primarily focused on disrupting terrorist organizations and their activities by denying them the freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain. In collaboration with international and regional maritime security partners, the CTF 150 teams have seized and destroyed billions of dollars in drugs and captured thousands of weapons, ensuring they are no longer available to organizations which would cause others harm.