USS Port Royal Maritime Interdiction in North Arabian Sea
The guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of more than 1100lbs. (521kg) of suspected narcotics from a dhow in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea, Dec. 18.
Twenty-three bags of narcotics were discovered and tested, resulting in a seizure of approximately 150lbs. (45kg) of suspected hash, 400lbs. (181kg) of methamphetamines and more than 600lbs. (272kg) of heroin.
This seizure, conducted in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, marks the fifth CMF drugs seizure since October.
To mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, the boarding team undertook carefully executed precautionary measures during and after the boarding, to include decontamination of all seized contraband.
The CMF is a multinational maritime partnership which exists to counter illicit non-state actors in international waters, promoting security, stability and prosperity in the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman. CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organisations, ensuring legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. CTF 150 is currently led by the Royal Saudi Naval Force, the second time the country’s Navy has led the task force.