Australian frigate home after seizing over 33 tons of narcotics

HMAS Warramunga arrives at Garden Island, Sydney, on July 8. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga returned home on July 8, concluding a record-breaking deployment to the Middle East.

Minister for defense, Senator Marise Payne, joined Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, on the wharf to congratulate the crew on their record breaking deployment.

During the nine months in the region, Warramunga’s crew seized a total of 31.8 tonnes of hashish and two tonnes of heroin from 16 smuggling vessels. The seized drugs are worth an estimated AU$2.17 billion.

“I congratulate the professional men and women in Warramunga who have worked so hard to achieve this unprecedented outcome,” minister Payne said. “Your commitment and focus has made a substantial and lasting difference.”

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

While deployed, Warramunga conducted counter-terrorism and maritime security operations as part of Combined Task Force 150.

She also regularly operated as part of the multi-national coalition of Combined Maritime Forces, a 32-nation partnership established to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, encourage regional cooperation, and promote a safe maritime environment.

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