Sri Lanka Navy trains overseas Coast Guard personnel in Search and Seizure

Sept 17, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) is currently conducting a specialized ship search and seizure training for the overseas Coast Guard personnel in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC), the Navy said.

A Visit Board Search & Seizure (VBSS) course for the boarding teams of Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine Coast Guards commenced at the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) Headquarters in Trincomalee Monday (16th September 2019).

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Better prepared for maritime security incidents

Suriname is the latest country to benefit from IMO maritime security training. Participants at a workshop in Paramaribo, Suriname (7-8 May) took part in table-top contingency planning exercises involving a variety of maritime security issues. These included threats to cruise ships, border security issues involving ports, airports and land border crossing, as well as potential incidents involving proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and arms and drugs consignments.

The main objective of the exercise was to encourage a multi-agency, whole of government approach to maritime and port facility security and related maritime law enforcement issues – with participants working to identify gaps in national procedures or legislation, opportunities for improvement, and further needs for training or technical assistance.

The exercise took place following a request by Suriname to assist the country in strengthening its implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) – specifically those that fall within the scope of IMO’s SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code and/or the 1988 and 2005 SUA treaties (click for details of these treaties).

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).


Naval service specialists deliver training to Kenyan forces

Royal Marines and Royal Navy specialists have been showing Kenyan security forces how to improve their ability to fight piracy, illegal fishing and drugs trafficking.

Specialists from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines’ Board and Search School and landing craftsmen from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group travelled to Mombasa – Kenya’s second-largest city and one of Africa’s biggest trading hubs – to deliver training and share expertise.

The contingent, made up of Royal Marines and Royal Navy ranks, were part of the Tri-Service British Peace Support Team, an organisation that aims to aid United Nations and African Union Peace Support Operations.

The training group sought to understand the current situation that is impacting Kenya’s economy and create a coherent strategy for the future as they look to shore up security in the Indian Ocean port.

The training aimed to help Kenyan security forces become better equipped to deal with the threats they face and develop a clear plan to continue protecting their waters.

The majority of Kenyan trade comes through Mombasa and shutting down criminal activity is a priority for the country’s security forces.

Around 30 personnel from a variety of Kenyan agencies came to train and learn how to conduct successful board and search of suspicious vessels.

The first part of the training consisted of classroom-based sessions on board and search operations at sea, before phase two saw coastguard, police and port authority teams work together to practise their new skills in the water.

The training included an opening and closing ceremony attended by high ranking dignitaries, which included a demonstration of the skills learned during the sessions.

A further training package is now being arranged later this year.


Combined Task Force 150 Seizes 4,085 Kg of Illegal Narcotics in 24 Hours

Over a 24 hour period, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 seized 4,085 kg of illegally smuggled hashish from two separate boarding operations by warships operating in the region.

On 27th February, 2019, Royal Navy warship, HMS Dragon, found a dhow off the coast of Oman in the Northern Arabian Sea which they assessed to be suspicious. HMS Dragon’s boarding team conducted a search of the vessel which resulted in a successful seizure of 100 bags of hashish, totaling in 2,040 kg.

The next day, on 28th February, Royal Australian Navy warship, HMAS Ballarat, also sailing off the coast of Oman, conducted a similar operation. A boarding and search operation of the dhow resulted in 2,045.60 kg of hashish.

In reaction to the drug seizures, Commodore Darren Garnier, Royal Canadian Navy, Commander CTF 150 said: “HMS Dragon and HMAS Ballarat have been instrumental in reducing the use of the high seas as a venue for illegal activities. These two very capable warships and their ships’ companies have each conducted six seizures to date, ensuring the funding of illegal narcotics is staying out of the hands of potential terrorist organizations. Bravo Zulu HMS Dragon and HMAS Ballarat for your continued support to CTF 150 operations.”

Combined Maritime Forces has three principle task forces: Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, which conducts counter-terrorism and maritime security operations; CTF 151, which conducts counter-piracy operations; and CTF 152, which conducts maritime security operations in the Middle East.

Captain Leif Maxfield, Deputy Commander CTF 150 added: “I am extremely proud of the hard work and meaningful interoperability between the international ships under our command and our CTF 150 Battle Watch. Our successes demonstrate the value the Combined Maritime Forces coalition brings to the table in improving maritime security in the area of operations.”

The Canadian-led CTF 150 Task Force, supported by the Royal Australian Navy, has now directed and overseen fifteen successful illegal narcotic interceptions in an area known as the ‘hash highway’. Since taking command on 6th December, 2018, the Task Force has now seized and destroyed over 28,000 kg of illegal narcotics.

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational task force currently comprised of 33 nations. CMF operates three Combined Task Forces (CTFs) in order to conduct Maritime Security Operations. CTF 150 responsible for maritime security and counter terrorism operations. CTF 151 responsible for counter piracy operations. CTF 152 responsible for maritime security and counter terrorism with the Gulf.