US destroyer seizes almost 5 tons of hashish in Gulf of Aden

US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) seized close to 5 tons of narcotics from a stateless vessel in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden on January 24.

Chung-Hoon’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team conducted a flag verification boarding and seized 4,700 kilograms of hashish in the process.

This is the second such interdiction within a month. The Chung-Hoon seized over 5,000 kilograms of hashish while patrolling the Gulf of Aden on Dec. 27, 2018.

“What I’m most proud of is the synergy between our information, operations and boarding teams that allowed us to complete the mission,” said Cmdr. Brent Jackson, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon. “Teamwork is the key enabler, and this crew was on station, ready to roll at sunrise to complete the task of interdicting contraband.”

The vessel was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with customary international law. The vessel and its crew were allowed to depart once the narcotics were seized.

Chung-Hoon is serving as the surface action group (SAG) commander, leading the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), during maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden. Both ships are operating under Task Force 55.

Chung-Hoon is deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

Photo: US Navy Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Wesley Helm, assigned to USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), watches a shipment of narcotics aboard the dhow in the Gulf of Aden, Jan. 24, 2019. Photo: US Navy