USS Laboon Makes Second Drug Bust in a Week

March 21, 2017 – For the second time in five days, guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) intercepted a small, stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea and seized 500 kilograms of Hashish, March 17.

Laboon, conducting maritime security operations in the region as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces, conducted an inspection of the vessel as part of a flag verification boarding and found the illicit cargo.

Lt. Dan Foley, the boarding officer who led the team which made the seizure, credited his team for their diligence and putting in many long hours in the process.

“They worked tirelessly for over 14 hours to secure the illicit narcotics,” Foley said. “I cannot praise them enough for staying calm and collected in a very tense environment. Ultimately, it was a great St. Patrick’s Day. We kept the drugs off the market, and most importantly, denied terrorist organizations from benefitting off the profits of the narcotics on board.”

Laboon intercepted a small, stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea, March 13, and seized 270 kg of heroin. Royal Australian navy frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) seized 800 kg of Hashish, March 2, making this the third CTF 150 seizure in the last three weeks.

CTF 150 commander, Royal Canadian navy Commodore Haydn Edmundson, praised the ship’s crew for their dedication to keeping the region safe for legitimate commerce.

“These boardings, whether they result in a successful seizure or not, are some of the most complex and dangerous evolutions that our Sailors conduct on the high seas,” Edmundson said. “This second seizure by the USS Laboon in such a short period of time is testament to their superb training and preparedness for this task, which is just one of the many missions the ship has while deployed.”

Laboon deployed from its Norfolk homeport in January and has been deployed to the region since February. This is Laboon’s second drug seizure since its deployment to the region.

Established in 2002, CTF 150 is primarily focused on disrupting terrorist organizations and their activities by denying them the freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain. In collaboration with international and regional maritime security partners, the CTF 150 teams have seized and destroyed billions of dollars in drugs and captured thousands of weapons, ensuring they are no longer available to organizations which would cause others harm.

Commodore Haydn Edmundson RCN, USS Laboon, CTF 150, Hashish