The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of more than 600 lbs. (275 kg) of suspected narcotics from a dhow in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea, Jan. 30. Seven bags of suspected narcotics were seized and tested, resulting in a seizure of approximately 600 lbs. (275 kg) of suspected heroin, worth $2.89 million wholesale. This seizure, conducted in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, marks the seventh CMF drug seizure since October 2020.
To mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, the boarding team undertook carefully executed precautionary measures during and after the boarding, to include decontamination of all seized contraband. CTF-150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations, ensuring legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. CTF-150 is currently commanded by the Royal Canadian Navy, now leading the task force for a fifth time.
USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) is a Flight II Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser on active service in the United States Navy. She is named for the Battle of the Philippine Sea during World War II and is the second ship to bear the name. She has completed multiple deployments as part of Operation Enduring Freedom since 2001.Philippine Sea was built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Her keel was laid on 8 April 1986 and she was launched on 12 July 1987. Upon completion of her sea-trials after construction, Philippine Sea transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and was commissioned on 18 March 1989 in Portland, Maine. In 2003, the ship was assigned to Cruiser-Destroyer Group 12.