HMAS Warramunga Continues to Sweep Up

By Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Office of Public Affairs | May 15, 2018

U.S. FIFTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS -- Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga (FFH 152), currently supporting Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized 650 pounds of heroin during a boarding in the Arabian Sea, May 10. 

HMAS Warramunga located the drug smuggling vessel while conducting routine surveillance operations. With the commanding officer and crew well-rehearsed at such operations, and upon receiving chain of command approval, the ship’s boarding party was quickly inserted using their rigid hull inflatable boat.

The result of this latest interdiction was the seizure and destruction of heroin valued at approximately $69 million. This is HMAS Warramunga’s eleventh successful interdiction in five months and brings the Royal Australian Navy frigate’s impressive total of narcotics interdicted to approximately 19.3 tons of hashish and 2.1 tons of heroin totalling approximately $1.2 billion.

Overall, this is the 16th boarding under the Australian led CTF 150, which has led to the seizure of illicit drugs undertaken by a number of nations working in support of CTF 150.

Commodore Mal Wise, commander CTF150, said the accomplishments of the entire CTF 150 team have been the result of the combination of like-minded nations working cooperatively with the shared goal of strengthening maritime security and fighting terrorism.

“Together we have removed illicit narcotics that would have otherwise funded terrorist activities,” said Mal.

Since assuming command in December 2017, ships working under CTF 150 authority have seized more than 30 tons of hashish and over 3 tons of heroin, valued in excess of $1.8 billion.

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.