French frigate seizes heroin off the Horn of Africa

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today French frigate seizes heroin off the Horn of Africa French frigate seizes heroin off the Horn of Africa View post tag: CMF French frigate FS Surcouf collaborated with a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft to make her first cocaine interception as part of the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150).Less than three weeks into its deployment, FS Surcouf made two narcotics seizures, with back to back boardings yielding around 400kg of heroin.Early in the morning on April 28, Surcouf’s boarding team began their search of the first dhow. Over the course of the next four days they continued to search the vessel, finding multiple stashes and locating a total of around 200 kg of heroin.The first boarding and seizure complete, Surcouf began to track down a second suspicious dhow, locating the vessel and beginning the second boarding on the May 3.By the end of the day almost 200kg of heroin had been seized bringing the total over the six days and two boardings to around 400kg.According to Combined Maritime Forces, the seized drugs have a value of over $US155 million.The French/UK-led CTF150 is the operationalisation of French-UK naval co-operation under the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force framework, and includes staff from Belgium, Italy and Australia, exercising command over ships and aircraft from several CMF participating nations. May 8, 2017 View post tag: Narcotics View post tag: CTF-150 View post tag: French Navy View post tag: FS Surcouf Authorities Share this articlelast_img read more


Out to Maximize the Internet’s Vast Space

first_img Mr. Austin Branch, Senior Director, Information Operations: Operating in the information environment no matter what is a critical component of how our Defense Department has to consider operating in the future, the digital age, the ubiquity of information…we have no choice but to be able to compete in this space. Because our adversaries and others are challenging us all the time, so we can’t ignore it. So we have to have the capability to be able to operate in this space and have the capabilities to be effective. The hard part, the challenge is how do you show real value in an enterprise that doesn’t immediately provide opportunities to show direct impact? It takes a lot of time of persistent, sustained engagement to show any kind of measure in change of anything it is we’re trying to shake our strategic objectives on, and particularly for any theater command. Interview with Austin Branch, Senior Director for Information Operations, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict That’s what they have to go back as champions of, and walk away knowing that they’ve got a better network of partners who have similar interests. So when they leave here, they’ll know they have friends not only in the United States, but in Guatemala, in Peru, in Panama. They’ll know who the other people are that have shared challenges. DIÁLOGO: How do you see Information Operations (IO) moving forward in the future? DIÁLOGO: What is the biggest lesson you’d like the partner nations attending the IO SMEE to take back with them regarding IO? DIÁLOGO: What can the U.S. learn from its counterparts regarding IO? Mr. Branch: For operating in the information environment, it’s not just IO. IO is a military term, more importantly all of our colleagues, and all of our friends, and our international partners, they may not have the same idea of what IO is, so I want to set that aside. I want to make sure people are talking about our ability to effectively operate in a complex information environment. So why is that important for our friends and our partners? Because we, the United States, do not have the monopoly on the information space, –in fact, we’re probably one of the most challenged countries in the information space domain¬¬–, because we’re so vulnerable, but at the same time, we need to collaborate with our partners, it’s an all-in proposition. (US + partners)They have as much equity and as much stake as we do in being effective, because it’s a global common, and so we have to be able to do that. They have a stake in this as well. Our ability to make sure that we have some comparable capabilities and understanding is absolutely essential to ensuring security and stability in the various regions where we have common objectives. It’s as simple as that. Mr. Branch: Well, it’s not just an IO mission; it’s a whole mission of engagement. And this exchange of information, transparency, having a general understanding, a common understanding of how we think; this information environment is challenging us, and how might we address it in a common way? It’s not about us empowering them; it’s a mutual empowerment of capabilities. There are a lot of ideas, there’s a lot of development, there’s a lot of experience in our partners that they can share with us, so it’s as rich of an engagement for us, as it might be for them. I am always looking to learn as I go into these types of engagements with our partners in Central and South America, because this information space levels the playing field and we do not have the strategic advantage. We’re all the same. Mr. Austin Branch: Operating in the information environment is very complex and because it’s so difficult to measure in the short term, they have to go back to their own headquarters and be advocates for this. Say, “Listen, no matter what we do, we have to invest in technologies, in methods, in applications; we have to partner with not just the U.S., but others, so we can learn how to operate in this space. This is the information age. We built tanks in the industrial age, we’re building capabilities to operate in the information environment, via the web or other tools like social media, all of that in the electromagnetic environment, the Internet, all those things play huge roles, so how do we ensure that we do it in the most effective and appropriate way? In mid-April, the Information Operations (IO) divisions from U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command co-hosted an IO Subject Matter Expert Exchange, bringing together military representatives from ten countries from within the Americas to discuss lessons learned, best practices, and the ways ahead on this domain. Austin Branch, Senior Information Operations Director at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) came to Miami to take part of the exchange and urge participants to really work together and convert plans into actions. Mr. Branch also took some time to talk to Diálogo one-to-one on this topic. Mr. Branch: A lot. Well one of the things we really do poorly is we don’t really understand the audiences we wish to engage and shape. We often mirror image, we often presume, and so our colleagues and friends can share with us and get a better understanding of the elements of influence, the elements, the challenge, the interests, attitudes, and behaviors. We often get this wrong, so we can really benefit from their perspectives, from their experiences. It’s more important that we listen rather than talk. We have to go in hat in hand. DIÁLOGO: What is the importance of collaborating with partner nations for IO? They’ve got to go back as champions of that because there’s a general sense from folks that it’s too complex. People just push back and don’t want to get involved because it’s so difficult to understand. They think it’s just dealing with the Internet or just dealing with the media, but it’s more than that, it’s a whole complex layer of things, and you need professionals who understand how to bring those things together to combine hard science: the electronics, the bits, bytes, trons… with the soft science: the behavior, the cognitive piece, because there are people on the other end of those computers. What is it that they think, what do they know? By Dialogo May 01, 2013 DIÁLOGO: What is the value of this exchange for the United States’ IO mission in Latin America? last_img read more


In opposing immigration bill, Richardson caught in debate

first_imgWASHINGTON – Of all the candidates running for president, none has more weathered the crosscurrents of the immigration battle than Gov. Bill Richardson, the New Mexico Democrat. Richardson, whose mother is Mexican, is the governor of a border state with the highest percentage of Latino immigrants in the country. He has been entangled in the issue at home and a player in the ongoing struggle in Washington about rewriting the nation’s immigration laws. He is the first Latino to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Richardson initially said he would support the immigration compromise announced earlier this week. But on Wednesday, he said that after reading it in detail, he had decided to oppose it, saying the measure placed too great a burden on immigrants – tearing apart families that wanted to settle in the United States, creating a permanent tier of second-class immigrant workers, and funding a border fence that Richardson had long opposed. “This is fundamentally flawed in its current form, and I would oppose it,” he said. “We need bipartisanship, but we also need legislation that is compassionate. I’m not sure this is.” Richardson’s own personal history illustrates the struggles that families endure to obtain citizenship in the United States. In November 1947, when his mother was pregnant with him, Richardson’s father, who wanted his son to be a U.S. citizen, sent her on a train to Pasadena, where she gave birth. The mother then went back with her newborn to Mexico City, where Richardson remained until he returned to the United States at age 13.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Richardson said he does not want to be pigeonholed as the immigration candidate, but the moment is forcing him to take a stand on a volatile issue that carries major risks for all the presidential candidates. In aligning himself with the view that the bill is insufficiently compassionate, he is in agreement with a key segment of his party, including many Latino voters, that wants more focus on reuniting families. At the same time, though, Richardson risks identifying his candidacy with the efforts in Congress to ease strictures against immigrants who are in this country illegally, exposing himself to the strong anti-immigration currents that this battle has unleashed. He is the first major Democrat to explicitly call for defeat of the bill in its current form, a decision that he said would no doubt echo across the presidential playing field and in Washington. And his is a voice that carries particular weight: Raised during his childhood years in Mexico, he went on to became a governor who once declared a state of emergency in response to turmoil and violence on the border caused by illegal immigrants. Richardson said he wanted his candidacy to be identified with other issues – an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, a national health care program – rather than immigration. He noted that he had addressed just four sentences of a 365-page political autobiography he wrote in advance of the campaign, “Between Worlds: The Making of An American Life,” to immigration. Still, Richardson said he realized that might be difficult in this political environment in which the immigration debate was stirring so many passions across the country. He said he felt an obligation to speak out against what he suggested was an anti-immigrant fervor, be it from television news hosts such as Lou Dobbs or Republican candidates for president. last_img read more