HMAS Warramunga has returned home to a hero’s welcome from family and friends after spending almost nine months deployed to the Middle East.
The ship sailed with a company of 190 in last October and spent Christmas at sea patrolling the waters of the Middle East.
She maintained a high tempo during the deployment, travelling 43,995.9 nautical miles, conducted 31 flag verification boardings, operated with 27 international ships, conducted 19 escort taskings and 15 replenishments at sea, and made 12 port visits.
Her Seahawk MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter flew 182 sorties and spent almost 520 hours in the air.
AND – she seized a record-breaking $2.17 billion* worth of illegal narcotics.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne joined Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, on the wharf to congratulate the crew on their record-breaking deployment.
“Warramunga made a significant impact on terrorist and criminal organisations by denying them approximately $2.17 billion* in funding from illegal narcotics,” Minister Payne said.
“The Anzac-class frigate seized a total of 31.8 tonnes of hashish and 2 tonnes of heroin from 16 smuggling vessels while assigned to Operation Manitou.
“By removing these illicit narcotics from circulation, Warramunga has made an important contribution to global security.
“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.”
This was Warramunga’s third deployment to the Middle East Region and the 66th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Unit to the region since late 1990.
Summary of drug interdictions by HMAS Warramunga:
- 27-29 December 2017: 8 tonnes hashish, 69kg heroin, (from three vessels)(with video)
- 3 January 2018: 3.5 tonnes hashish
- 7 January 2018: 111kg heroin (with video)
- 24 January 2018: 915kg heroin (with video)
- 1 February 2018: 414kg heroin (with video)
- 3 March 2018: hashish, approx 4.1 tonnes (with video)
- 4 March 2018: hashish, approx 3.9 tonnes (with video)
- 6 March 2018: heroin, approx 132kg (with video)
- 10 May 2018: heroin, approx 295kg
- 21-22 May 2018: hashish, aprox 6.2 tonnes
- 3-5 June 2018: hashish, 6.3 tonnes (this story)
* Value is a based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) @ AUD$50,000 per kilogram (p215) and Heroin @ AUD$300,000 per kilogram (p216).