Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
defence connect logo

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

HMAS Warramunga returns from Middle East deployment

hmas warramungas boarding party
HMAS Warramunga’s Boarding Party conduct a boarding during the Ship’s deployment to Operation MANITOU. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

After a seven-and-a-half month deployment in the Middle East region, Anzac frigate HMAS Warramunga is returning to Australia having seized a record amount of illicit narcotics.

After a seven-and-a-half month deployment in the Middle East region, Anzac frigate HMAS Warramunga is returning to Australia having seized a record amount of illicit narcotics.

Defence Minister Marise Payne announced the vessel is returning to Australia having completed one of the Australian Navy's most successful operations.

Advertisement
Advertisement

During the deployment, the Australian warship intercepted 16 vessels carrying illicit narcotics, seizing a total of around 31.8 tonnes of hashish and two tonnes of heroin valued at approximately $2.17 billion*.

"This is the largest cumulative total ever seized by an Australian Major Fleet Unit," Minister Payne said.

"I would like to thank the men and woman of the RAN for their contribution to making a significant global difference to the distribution of unlawful drugs and illicit narcotics and protecting Australia’s national interests abroad."

Outgoing Commanding Officer HMAS Warramunga, Commander Dugald Clelland RAN, said the Anzac Class frigate’s contribution in disrupting narcotics smuggling in the region was significant.

"It has been a very successful deployment and the ship’s company is enormously proud of its achievements," CMDR Clelland said.

PROMOTED CONTENT

"Since arriving in the Middle East, our tasking has included counter-smuggling operations and working with our coalition partners to improve maritime security throughout the region."

During the deployment, Warramunga also participated in exercises with French Navy and US Navy ships, and conducted an information exchange with the US Coast Guard.

Operations with the US Fifth Fleet as part of Task Force (TF) 50 and TF 55 included escort duties through the Strait of Hormuz and for US Ships Theodore Roosevelt and America during activities in the Gulf.

Commander Joint Task Force 633, Rear Admiral Jaimie Hatcher AM said the Australian ship has made an important contribution to global counter-terrorism efforts as part of the multinational coalition of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

"HMAS Warramunga’s achievements are exceptional. The success of her deployment builds upon the foundation of Navy’s commitment to the Middle East for nearly three decades," RADM Hatcher said.

The ship’s company of close to 200 people will be reunited with their families at Fleet Base East, Sydney in the coming weeks.

Operation Manitou is the Australian Defence Force contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and the free flow of legitimate maritime commerce in the Middle East region.

Warramunga regularly operated as part of the CMF, a 32-nation partnership focused on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional co-operation and promoting a safe maritime environment. Warramunga mainly conducted counter-terrorism and maritime security operations for Combined Task Force 150, a CMF task force.

This was Warramunga’s third deployment to the Middle East and the 66th rotation of a RAN vessel in the region since 1990.

Summary of vessels interdicted with drugs by Warramunga:
• 27—29 December 2017: 8 tonnes hashish, 69kg heroin, (three vessels interdicted over this period)
• 3 January 2018: hashish, 3.5 tonnes
• 7 January 2018: heroin, 111kg
• 24 January 2018: heroin, 915kg
• 1 February 2018: heroin, 414kg
• 3 March 2018: hashish, 4 tonnes
• 4 March 2018: hashish, 4 tonnes
• 6 March 2018: heroin, 132kg
• 10 May 2018: heroin, 295kg
• 21 May 2018: hashish, 3 tonnes
• 22 May 2018: hashish, 3.2 tonnes
• 3 June 2018: hashish, 3.3 tonnes
• 4 June 2018: hashish, 2.6 tonnes
• 5 June 2018: hashish, 40kg
*Note: This calculation is a based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015-16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) @ $50,000 per kilogram (p215) and Heroin @ $300,000 per kilogram (p216).

HMAS Warramunga returns from Middle East deployment
HMAS-Warramungas-Boarding-Party.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

Jun 22 2022
Curbing China’s inroads in the Middle East
How can Washington counter Beijing’s growing influence in the Middle East without a pronounced military presence? ...
Jun 22 2022
Asension rebrand takes DEWC Systems into new era
South Australian Electronic Warfare company DEWC Systems has unveiled a new brand identity – Asension – to underscore the comp...
Jun 21 2022
Defence Connect launches new and improved jobs board
Defence Connect has launched its updated recruitment portal, with the Commonwealth Bank, Babcock Australasia and Raytheon Australi...