A US Coast Guard fast response cutter seized an estimated $85 million worth of heroin from a fishing vessel while patrolling the Gulf of Oman.
The operation on September 27 represents the largest illegal drug interdiction in the Middle East by international naval forces this year.
While operating in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) seized 2,410 kilograms of heroin as the fishing vessel transited international waters.
CTF 150 is one of four task forces under the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the world’s largest multinational naval partnership.
The Royal Saudi Navy assumed command of CTF 150 in July during a ceremony in Manama, Bahrain, where the task force is headquartered.
It is worth noting that the operation also represents one of the first significant successes of the US Coast Guard’s new fast response cutter fleet, which was completed in August this year with the arrival of the fifth and sixth vessels.
Charles Moulthrope began operating in the Middle East in May 2021. Its crew of nearly 30 Coast Guardsmen includes the ship’s 24 plankowners who were the original crewmembers when the ship commissioned in January 2021.
CMF consists of 34 member-nations whose forces operate in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
“This sizable seizure demonstrates a profound commitment among our international partners to disrupting and deterring destabilizing activity in the region,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and CMF. “I am proud of the flawless efforts by CMF, the Saudi-led CTF 150 team and the Charles Moulthrope crew.”