Indian Navy carries out first drug interdiction as CMF member - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a 42-nation naval partnership that upholds the international rules-based order on the world’s busiesmost important shipping lanes


By Vikas Gupta

Defence News of India, 17th Apr 24


Indian Navy Ship (INS) Talwar, operating in the Arabian Sea in support of the Canadian-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized 940 kg of illicit drugs on Saturday, its first interdiction of illegal narcotics.


“INS Talwar, a Talwar-class frigate, seized 453 kg of methamphetamines, 416 kg of hash and 71 kg of heroin from a dhow as part of Focused Operation Crimson Barracuda,” announced the CTF. 


Crimson Barracuda, which concluded on April 15, focused on countering terrorist and criminal organizations’ use of the high seas to conduct smuggling operations in the Western Indian Ocean region.


Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a 42-nation naval partnership that attempts to uphold the international rules-based order by promoting security and stability across 3.2 million square miles of water encompassing some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. 


The Indian Navy joined the CMF last November.


As per the CMF’s announcement, INS Talwar, mission deployed in the western Arabian Sea for maritime security operations as part of Combined Task Force 150 led Focussed Operation Crimson Barracuda to successfully apprehend a suspicious dhow on April 13.

“INS Talwar’s boarding teams and MARCOs (marine commandoes) seized 940 kgs of contraband narcotics. The drugs are being disposed of as per CMF SOPs (standard operating procedures,” stated the CMF announcement.


“I commend the crew of INS Talwar for their efforts throughout this Focused Operation and their hard work has paid off with this seizure of 940 kg of drugs,” said Royal Canadian Navy Captain Colin Matthews, Commander, Combined Task Force 150. 


“This seizure, the fourth of this Focused Operation, demonstrates the effectiveness and professionalism of CMF, and of the Indian Navy, in deterring and disrupting criminal and terrorist activities at sea,” said Matthews.


CTF 150 is one of five task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the world’s largest international naval partnership. CTF 150’s mission is to deter and disrupt the ability of non-state actors to move weapons, drugs and other illicit substances in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.


CMF is a unique multi-national collective of 42 like-minded nations, dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. 


Its main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all. 


Established on April 17, 2022, CTF 153 is one of five task forces under CMF. It is responsible for maritime security operations in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb, and western Gulf of Aden.


CMF is the world’s largest naval partnership, with 42 countries working together. It includes CTF 150, focused on maritime security in the Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden; CTF 151, which leads regional anti-piracy efforts; CTF 152, dedicated to maritime security in the Arabian Gulf; and CTF 154, enhancing maritime security training throughout the region.