The guided-missile destroyer Nitze seized roughly $20 million worth of illicit drugs from a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday.
The Nitze was conducting a patrol in international waters when it found 2,200 kilograms of hashish and 330 kilograms of methamphetamine on the fishing vessel. The destroyer was operating as part of Combined Task Force 153 in support of 5th Fleet’s Combined Maritime Forces.
“I am proud of the Nitze’s outstanding effort in support of our mission,” Capt. Robert Francis, commodore of CTF 153, said in a Navy statement. “Our multinational task force was established to enhance maritime security in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb and Gulf of Aden, and this major drug seizure shows our commitment to doing just that.”
The Navy’s increased presence in the 5th Fleet in the past year has resulted in an uptick in weapons and illicit drug seizures. Since 2020, Combined Maritime Forces have intercepted approximately $900 million worth of illicit narcotics.
The Nitze is part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, and got underway from Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, in July.