The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Charles Moulthrope seized roughly $29 million worth of illicit narcotics during a patrol in the Gulf of Oman — just weeks after confiscating roughly $85 million in heroin in the same waters.
The Navy’s ramped up presence in the 5th Fleet in the past year has resulted in significantly more weapons and illicit drug seizures.
The cutter, which was operating as part of Combined Task Force 150, found 2,980 kilograms of opium and 400 kilograms of methamphetamines aboard a fishing vessel Oct. 12. The cutter also seized 2,410 kilograms of heroin on a fishing ship Sept. 27.
“A success like this is a team effort. I am proud of each and every member of our crew,” Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Hills, Charles Moulthrope’s commanding officer, said in a Navy news release. “We remain committed to countering the flow of illegal contraband and promoting security and stability across the region.”
According to 5th Fleet, the Navy and partner forces seized more than $193 million worth of illegal drugs in 2021. That number resulted in a higher value than the amount confiscated in the preceding four years combined.
“We have enhanced our presence and vigilance across regional waters,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said in a January news release. “This reflects our continued commitment to confront destabilizing activities that disrupt the rules-based international order which underlies maritime security in the Middle East.”
Combined Task Force 150 is part of Combined Maritime Forces that the U.S. leads, and is one of four task forces now operating in the Mideast to counter maritime threats.
The Charles Moulthrope is homeported in Manama, Bahrain.