GULF OF OMAN (Oct. 29, 2022) A civilian fishing vessel burns in the Gulf of Oman, Oct. 29. The vessel, found to be smuggling illicit cargo, was set on fire by the fishing vessel’s crew as U.S. forces approached. (U.S. Navy photo)
Drug smuggling in the Gulf of Oman remains a significant issue for maritime security forces in the region. In the last year, vessels of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) have seized heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine pills and hashish worth about $300 million combined.
CTF-150 is one of four task forces operating as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the world’s largest multinational naval partnership. comprised of 34 nations whose forces operate in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf, and Indian Ocean, CFT-150 came under the command of the Royal Saudi Navy in July. The CMF seeks to protect the Rules-Based International Order in the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf, and the Gulf of Aden. The four task forces of the CMF perform anti-piracy, anti-drug, and arms smuggling interdiction missions in these waters. Absent from this coalition of the willing are China, Iran, and Russia.