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News | July 24, 2020

USS Shamal Shows Fury in Interdicting Go Fast

By U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet

CARIBBEAN SEA — The Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Shamal (PC 13) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) recovered more than 3,900 pounds of suspected marijuana, July 4.

While on routine patrol in the Caribbean Sea, Shamal spotted the go-fast vessel (GVF). Once detected, the crew observed suspected drug smugglers aboard jettisoning packages overboard.

In a coordinated effort, Shamal launched their small boat and the LEDET was deployed to the scene to further investigate.

Upon arriving on scene, the Shamal and the embarked LEDET recovered a total of 708 bales of suspected marijuana, totaling more than 3,940 pounds worth over an estimated wholesale value of $6.9 million.

"The Shamal Team performed very well during the interdiction and safely boarded the vessel," said Shamal Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Daniel O'Neill. "We received outstanding training in preparation for this patrol, and it really motivates the Shamal team when we're able to demonstrate our abilities with a successful bust”.

USS Shamal is deployed to the U.S. Fourth Fleet area of operations supporting U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counter drug operations mission in the Caribbean.

On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives. Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Caribbean Sea is conducted under the authority of the 7th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Miami. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region. For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

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