Expeditionary Strike Group 1 going after smugglers
Expeditionary Strike Group 1, let by the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa, has taken on a mission to stop piracy as part of its scheduled gulf deployment, officials said.
The strike group falls under Task Force 150, currently led by French Vice Adm. Jacques Mazars, and is in the North Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, U.S. 5th Fleet said.
The other vessels include the amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland, guided missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin, the French ships Var and Lafayette, and the Pakistani frigate Badr.
“The illegal smuggling means that funds are being created. Where does that money go, that is the link [to the war on terror,]” Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Darren Rushworth, the future operations planner for Amphibious Squadron 1, said in the statement.
U.S. military officials are compiling a comprehensive database that might pinpoint patterns in the maritime traffic.