HMAS Newcastle today returned triumphantly to Garden Island, Sydney, after seizing more than $1 billion in heroin in the Middle East region during her six-month Operation MANITOU deployment.
The ship’s company of 228 was welcomed back by Commodore Warfare, Commodore Peter Leavy, RAN, along with family and friends.
CDRE Leavy said Newcastle intercepted some 1.4 tonnes of heroin, valued at $1.2 billion.
“This was a remarkable effort and denied terrorist organisations funding and has taken the Australian Navy’s total seizures in the Middle East over the last two years to an estimated street value of $2.3 billion.
“Newcastle also conducted 50 boardings and flew 70 sorties,” He said
“The men and women onboard Newcastle gave this deployment their all,” CMDR MacNamara said.
“This effort has yielded a terrific result, of which we are very proud.
“Each of us is looking forward to sharing our success with our family and friends, as their support has been vital during our six months away.”
Operation MANITOU is Australia’s contribution to counter terrorism, counter piracy, narcotics interdiction and improving overall stability to the Middle East region, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Royal Australian Navy ships have been continuously deployed to the Middle East since the start of the first Gulf War in 1990. Newcastle was the 60th rotation. The frigate was replaced on station by sister-ship, HMAS Melbourne.
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