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HomeMediaSpecial CoverageSOUTHCOM Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations

SOUTHCOM Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations

U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced presence will support ongoing whole-of-government and internationally supported operations to reduce the availability of illicit drugs and save lives in the United States and throughout the region. The intent is to reduce the flow of illicit drugs, degrade transnational criminal organizations, and increase interoperability with our partner nations and interagency partners. The operation supports our objectives to degrade the capabilities of drug trafficking organizations, save lives, and directly support the National Drug Control Strategy.


Graphic for the Commander of U.S. Southern Command, Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller’s press briefing via telephone, hosted by the U.S. State Department, April 17, 2020SOUTHCOM Commander Telephonic Press Briefing on Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations

Audio and transcript of U.S. State Department's Media Hub of the Americas-hosted telephonic press briefing with the Commander of U.S. Southern Command, Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller, April 17, 2020. (Links to State.gov)

Counter Narcotics Imagery

SEE ALL COUNTER NARCOTICS IMAGERY AT DVIDS

OVERVIEW

Mission:

On April 1, 2020, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) began enhanced counternarcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential national security objectives.

 

Location:

Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

 

Resources:

Additional U.S. capabilities include:

  • Navy destroyers and helicopters

  • Coast Guard cutters and helicopters

  • Navy littoral combat ships

  • Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft

  • Navy P-8 patrol aircraft

  • Air Force E-3 AWACS aircraft (ISR) and E-8 JSTARS aircraft (ISR)

  • Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) Company (advise and assist)

 

Ally & partner contributions:

  • 22 nations provide intelligence and operations support as part of Joint Interagency Task Force – South (JIATF-South)

  • Key partners in this fight: Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, as well as European partners France, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom -- will provide capabilities.  50% of interdictions last year involved partners.

U.S. whole of government efforts continue with interagency assets from Customs and Border Protection, DEA and others.

These enhanced counter-narcotics operations constitute an increase in Naval destroyers, combat ships, aircraft and helicopters, and Coast Guard cutters. Additional assets double capabilities in the region.

 

Purpose:

Our increased presence will:

  • Disrupt the flow of illicit drugs to the homeland, thereby protecting Americans

  • Reassure allies and partners; build their capacity to contribute to the counternarcotics fight

 

Additional Information:

Drugs pose a threat to the homeland as drug overdoses kill around 70,000 Americans each year. Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, increase drug trafficking and can easily contribute to the spread of the virus.

Our multilateral counter-narcotics operations will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as supporting nations turn inward.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


TWEETS from April 1 Announcement:


Graphic: “Enhanced Counter-Narcotic Operations.” On 1 April 2020, U.S. Southern Command will begin enhanced counternarcotics operations in the East Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential national security objectives. A flood of enforcement resources: Ships: Navy destroyers | Coast Guard Cutters | Navy littoral combat ships. Aircraft: Helicopters on destroyers and cutters | Navy P-8 patrol aircraft | Air Force E-3 AWACS aircraft (ISR) | Air Force E-8 JSTARS aircraft (ISR). Ground Forces: Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) Company.

Graphic: “Enhanced Counter-Narcotic Operations.” On 1 April 2020, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counternarcotics operations in the East Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential national security objectives. A flood of enforcement resources: Ships: Navy destroyers | Coast Guard Cutters | Navy littoral combat ships. Aircraft: Helicopters on destroyers and cutters | Navy P-8 patrol aircraft | Air Force E-3 AWACS aircraft (ISR) | Air Force E-8 JSTARS aircraft (ISR). Ground Forces: Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) Company.

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