PACIFIC OCEAN –
The Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) seized 200 kilograms of suspected cocaine, Dec. 2.
While on routine patrol Gabrielle Giffords was diverted to intercept a go fast vessel (GFV). Gabrielle Giffords deployed one of her helicopters, assigned to the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, to provide over watch and ensure compliance while the embarked LEDET and small boats arrived to achieve positive control of the GFV.
Gabrielle Giffords and the embarked LEDET searched the vessel and recovered a total of 200 kilograms of suspected cocaine worth over an estimated wholesale value of $7.5 million. Three suspected drug traffickers were also detained.
“The work our team does out here, not only helps support the counter-narcotics mission, but also makes these waters safer for all who sail,” said Cmdr. Rion Martin, commanding officer of Gabrielle Giffords. “I’m extremely proud of the professionalism displayed by our men and women as we continue to enhance regional security and stability in U.S. 4th Fleet.”
Gabrielle Giffords is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
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, U.S. 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.
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.
Learn more about USNAVSO/4th Fleet at https://www.facebook.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT and @NAVSOUS4THFLT