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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Combined Task Force News

Photographer: LSIS Bradley Darvill 
 © Commonwealth of Australia

HMAS Ballarat Seizes 3.1 tonnes of Hashish in the Middle East

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has seized more than 3.1 tonnes of hashish worth about $155 million* during a boarding operation that took place 8-9 January 2019 in international waters in the Arabian Sea.The fishing vessel, known as a dhow, was believed to be engaged in illegal activity when Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) directed Ballarat to board the vessel and conduct a flag verification check.Ballarat’s boarding team searched the dhow and seized the hashish.

RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ace RheaumeReleased)

Exercise Rim of Pacific Concludes

The world's largest international maritime exercise concluded Aug. 4, after more than a month of training events conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in Rim of the Pacific 2016, more countries and personnel than in any previous years. This year's RIMPAC marked the 25th in the series, which began in 1971 and is now held every two years. Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2016 was led by U.S. Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the U.S.

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Chris Bradshaw with his partner Kylie and son Wyatt are reunited on the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney at HMAS Darwin's welcome home ceremony. Photo RAN

HMAS Darwin Returns from Middle East Deployment

Family and friends joined Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett on the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney to welcome HMAS Darwin home from a successful Middle East deployment. During her Operation MANITOU rotation, Darwin and her Ship’s Company seized a large cache of illicit weapons and narcotics. Vice Admiral Barrett  praised Darwin’s Ship’s Company on their accomplishments. “By removing weapons and drugs from circulation, you made a tangible difference, limiting terrorist organisations’ ability to raise money,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.

The official logo for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. (US Navy Graphic by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Douglas Bedford Released)

RIMPAC Brings 26 Nations Together in Pacific

Twenty-six nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series which began in 1971.

Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, right, stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge after being rescued by U.S Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. (Official U.S. Navy photo)

US Navy Sailors Reflect on Capt Phillips Rescue

U.S. Navy sailors aboard amphibious assault ship USS Boxer took time to reflect on the anniversary of the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden seven years ago. Phillips was rescued April 12, 2009 by special operations personnel aboard USS Bainbridge and transferred to Boxer for medical evaluation and care. Boxer also served as a staging platform for the rescue operation. “This is a great reminder of the flexibility and warfighting spirit USS Boxer exhibits; always ready to respond, no matter the crisis, operation or mission,” said Capt.

HMAS Melbourne draws alongside the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney

HMAS Melbourne Returns from M.E.

After five successful narcotic seizures in the Middle East and 203 days away from home, Royal Australian Navy frigate, HMAS Melbourne was welcomed back to her homeport of Sydney today. Around one thousand family and friends joined the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, CSC and Bar, RAN, to welcome the ship’s company home from duties as part of Operation MANITOU. Minister Payne said the 223 men and women on board have made their families and Australia proud.

Maritime forces from various nations attend the opening ceremony for Cutlass Express 2016 Jan. 30. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mat Murch

Cutlass Express 2016 Commences

Maritime forces from Eastern Africa, Western Indian Ocean island nations, Europe and the United States, as well as several international organizations began the fifth iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express, Jan. 30. Cutlass Express 2016, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA) and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of participating nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.

USS Essex (LHD 2) conducts maneuvers during normal operations Courtesy USN

Essex Amphibious Ready Group in S. China Sea

The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) transited the Straits of Malacca and conducted routine operations in the South China Sea as part of a deployment to the Western Pacific Nov. 7-10. The ARG's flagship, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), conducted the patrol as the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) prepared for bilateral training exercises with Brunei and Malaysia. On Nov. 10, Rushmore began offloading troops for the 2015 iteration of Malaysia-U.S.

Courtesy Australian Defence

Oz, NZ ships Seize $700 mi in Narcotics

Maritime security operations by Australian and New Zealand frigates operating in the Middle East region during the past six weeks have seized almost a tonne of narcotics worth an estimated street value of $711 million. Royal Australian Navy Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Newcastle netted 724kg of narcotics worth an estimated $597 million. During the same operation, New Zealand ship HMNZS Te Kaha seized 257kg of narcotics worth an estimated $214 million. Patrolling as part of the Combined Maritime Forces…

Indian Ocean nations and several international organizations gather for the beginning of the fourth iteration of the multinational maritime Exercise Cutlass Express, Jan. 28, 2015.

Cutlass Express 2015 Commences

Maritime forces from East Africa, South Africa, Europe, Indian Ocean nations, the United States and several international organizations began the fourth iteration of the multinational maritime Exercise Cutlass Express, Jan. 28, 2015. Exercise Cutlass Express 2015, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA) and information-sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Indian Ocean nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.

HMAS_Darwin

Drug Busting Darwin Returns from Middle East

The crew responsible for intercepting and destroying billions of dollars worth of narcotics, including the largest seizure of heroin in the history of the Combined Maritime Forces, has returned home. HMAS Darwin and her 232 person crew docked at Garden Island, Sydney today after seven months of successful maritime security operations in the Middle East Region. Hundreds of family and friends of the ship’s company were on the wharf to welcome the warship back to her home-port. Commander Australian Fleet…

 Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd addresses Sailors: Photo USN

China to Participate in RIMPAC for First Time

U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs informs that 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and altogether 25,000 personnel from 23 nations, will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, 2014 in and around the Hawaiian Islands. Two nations, Brunei and the People's Republic of China, will participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2014. Also new at RIMPAC this year are two hospital ships, USNS Mercy and PLA (N) Peace Ark.

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the "Sea Knights" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, transports supplies over the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) during a replenishment-at-sea with the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Karl Anderson)

Middle East Maritime Security: Cooperation is the Key Vital

Vice Adm. John Miller, U.S. Navy, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) , spoke to delegates attending the IQPC Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Middle East 2013 conference just after participating in the 8th International Institute For Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue to discuss the development and implementation of regional security and provided a platform for leaders from more than 30 countries to engage in inter-governmental dialogue on sensitive regional issues.

Cutter Washington: Photo credit USCG

Traditional Micronesian Canoe Sinks, Students Rescued

Multiple agencies and Amver ship work together to rescue 10 from the Philippine Sea, 90 miles NE of Palau. The U.S. Coast Guard in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Advisor partnered to provide assistance. The mariners in distress originated their voyage on a 60-foot traditional sailing canoe traveling from Palau to the outer islands of Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia.

ROS Regele Ferdinand: Photo credit EU NAVFOR

Somali Pirate Craft Sunk by EU NAVFOR Warship

Warships hunt down pirate skiff off the coast of Somalia, take 9 suspected pirates into custody and sink their boat. Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand, under command of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) worked in close co-operation with Turkish warship TCG Gemlik of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) to apprehended nine suspected pirates at sea off the coast of Somalia. In the early hours of the morning, Swedish EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft located the suspicious skiff at sea 420 nautical miles east of Mogadishu.

Counter-piracy Warships: Photo credit EUNAVFOR

Ship Owners Urged to Keep Up Counter-piracy Guard

European Union Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta, NATO & Combined Task Force 151) advise continued caution despite respite in attacks. In a recent report published by the International Maritime Bureau it was announced that there was a 54% drop in global piracy during the first half of 2012. One of the key contributors to this welcome development was the fall in both Somali hijackings and attacks. There are many factors which have led to this, two of which were the work of military forces in the region and self-protection measures taken by commercial shipping.

Piracy Off the Horn of Africa

Remarks by Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, given to the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC (March 27, 2012). Thank you for inviting me here today. I want to thank the Center for American Progress [CAP] for having me here to speak on the important subject of piracy off the Horn of Africa. CAP is a tremendous leader in developing new ideas and in approaching issues in new ways. I come here before you today to talk about an issue that the Obama administration has also had to approach in new and innovative ways.

A visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) approaches a suspected pirate vessel after the Motor Vessel Nordic Apollo reported being under attack and fired upon by pirates. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Pirates Disrupted by USS Pinckney

Guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91), assigned to Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, disrupted a group of suspected pirates close to the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), south of Yemen, Dec. 19. The Merchant Shipping Industry Best Management Practices, Version 4 (BMPv4) encourages merchant vessels to register with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO) while transiting areas known to be high risk for piracy. At approximately 8:40 a.m.…

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Combined Forces Intercepts Somali Pirates

The Flagship of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, USS Farragut (DDG 99), intercepted suspected pirates in the Somali Basin on April 1. The Sierra Leone-flagged tanker MV Evita came under attack 500 km north-west of the Seychelles by three suspected pirate skiffs. During the attack, the pirates fired rifles and aimed rocket propelled grenades at the vessel in an attempt to force it to stop. The MV Evita was able to evade attack by adopting industry recommended best management practices; increasing its speed and firing flares at the pirates to warn them off.

UK Flagged M/V St. James Park Pirated

The M/V St James Park, a UK flagged ship, was pirated Dec. 29 while transiting the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) through the Gulf of Aden. After receiving a signal from the M/V St James Park's Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), USS Chosin (CG 65), operating as the flagship to Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), was able to confirm via bridge-to-bridge radio that pirates had taken control of the vessel. The M/V St James Park is the first vessel since July to be pirated in the IRTC.

Coast Guard Releases Top Videos of 2009

The U.S. Coast Guard released its top 11 video compilation for 2009. The public is encouraged to vote online at the Coast Guard's YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/USCGImagery, for their favorite video in the Coast Guard’s best video of 2009 contest. The Coast Guard Compass, http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/, will be highlighting one video per day starting Dec. 21 through Jan. •    The rescue of a paraglider pilot who crashed on the shoreline of Cape Lookout near Tillamook, Ore., by an aircrew from Air Station Astoria, Ore.

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Pirate Attacks on the Rise off Somalia

Pirate activity has increased recently off the coast of Somalia with four attempted attacks occurring on motor vessels in the Gulf of Aden since Sept. 19. Three separate unsuccessful attacks occurred Sept. 19 and 20, while the most recent attack occurred Sept. 26 on the Panamanian-flagged Motor Vessel Handy V, in which seven pirates were arrested by the Turkish ship TCG Gediz (F-495), assigned to NATO's Piracy Task Force. This brings the total number of piracy attacks on merchant vessels in 2009 to 146, 28 of which have been successful.