Navies work together to combat terrorist-linked narcotics smuggling
11 March 2011
In February 2011, the five nations that comprise Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) under the command of Commodore Greg Sammut, CSC, RAN conducted a focused operation in the Northern Arabian Sea to deter, detect and disrupt terrorist funding-related narcotics smuggling.
Ships and aircraft from Australia, France, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States worked together to conduct almost 200 interactions targeting narcotics smuggling in the area.
“The success of this operation demonstrated the established capacity of the contributing navies to uphold security and stability in the maritime environment,” Commodore Sammut said.
“All ships involved engaged positively with the local mariner community, promoting legitimate use of the sea and stability within the region.”
On the completion of the operation, HMAS Stuart and the Pakistani naval vessel PNS Badr conducted a combined patrol and training along the Pakistani coast.
“This is the second time in the last six months that the Australian and Pakistani navies have operated together under CTF 150 command, maintaining vital mariner and security operation skills among the crews of both warships,” Commodore Sammut said.
During the combined patrol period, Stuart and Badr conducted cooperative active patrols, gunnery serials, manoeuvres, and helicopter transfers.
“They also engaged in maritime interdiction operations. Working together, Badr conducted a boarding of a vessel under international law of the sea, with Stuart providing support,” he said.
The CTF 150 area of operations spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf and Aden, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.The principal mission of CTF 150 is to deter, disrupt and defeat attempts by extremist terrorist organisations to use the maritime environment as a venue for an attack or as a means to transport personnel, weapons and other materials. The recent operation and combined patrol demonstrate the capability and strength of the coalition of nations participating in CTF 150, as well as improving and maintaining vital links between those who use the seas.