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Campaign Martillo

​Campaign Martillo (Hammer) is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.  U.S. military participation is led by Joint Interagency Task Force South, a component of U.S. Southern Command. 

Recent Photos

Crew members from Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane wrap pallets of drugs for offload at Port Everglades, Florida, Sept. 17, 2020. The crew offloaded approximately 12,100 pounds of cocaine and approximately 5,759 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $216 million. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Nicole J. Groll)
Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) crewmembers inspect a low-profile semi-submersible in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Aug. 14, 2020. Coast Guard crews seized more than 26,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $390 million, through thirteen separate suspected drug smuggling interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America between late May and late August. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) crewmembers inspect a low-profile semi-submersible in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Aug. 14, 2020. The cocaine, worth an estimated $390 million, was seized in 13 suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America between late May and late August. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 29,2020) The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment transfer suspected contraband on the flight deck of Nitze. Nitze is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign William Fong)
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 29,2020) The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) transfers suspected contraband, July 29, 2020. Nitze is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign William Fong)
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 29,2020) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team conducts enhanced counter narcotics operations, July 29, 2020. Nitze and embarked LEDET recovered 82 kilograms of suspected cocaine and 2,961 pounds of suspected marijuana. Nitze is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign William Fong)
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 29,2020) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team conducts enhanced counter narcotics operations, July 29, 2020. Nitze and embarked LEDET recovered 82 kilograms of suspected cocaine and 2,961 pounds of suspected marijuana. Nitze is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign William Fong)
200722-N-ZM949-1004 CARIBBEAN SEA (July 22,2020) - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team conducts enhanced counter narcotics operations July 22. The Pinckney and embarked LEDET recovered an estimated 120 kilograms of suspected cocaine. Pinckney is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibly to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons/Released)
Coast Guard Cutter Legare crew members offload about 3,900 pounds of marijuana in the rain, Aug. 5, 2020, Port Everglades, Florida. The drugs were interdicted by crews from Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Greisser (WPC 1116) and U.S.S Shamal, respectively, while on patrol in the Caribbean Sea from suspected drug smuggling vessels. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole J. Groll)
Suspected cocaine is shown on the deck of a go-fast-vessel in international waters of the Pacific Ocean off Central America in late-July 2020. The Coast Guard seized approximately 1,395 pounds of suspected cocaine in late-July with an estimated value of $24 million from the go-fast vessel. (Coast Guard photo)
The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) and a go-fast vessel interdicted in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the Coast of Central America in late-July 2020. The Bertholf’s crew boarded the boat and interdicted approximately 1,395 pounds of cocaine and three suspected smugglers. This photo has been edited for law enforcement purposes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez (WPC-1114) offloaded 55 bales of cocaine weighing 1,375 kilograms at Sector San Juan July 22, 2020. The $38.5 million shipment was seized and recovered from the Caribbean Sea July 16, 2020, following the disruption of a go-fast which led to the smugglers jettisoning the contraband overboard. The interdiction was the result of multi-agency efforts in support of U.S. Southern Command's enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, and during Operation CAST NET II, in coordination with Joint Task Force-East. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ricardo Castrodad)
NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (June 26, 2020) Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, talks to the crewmembers of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Farragut (DDG 99) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 60 (HSM 60) on the flightdeck of the Lassen at Naval Station Mayport. Lassen and Farragut recently returned from a nine-month deployment as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG), which included conducting maritime security and enhanced counter narcotic operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anna-Liesa Hussey/Released)
200526-N-N3764-001 CARIBBEAN SEA The “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, embarked aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team conducts enhanced counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea, May 26, 2020. The Lassen and embarked LEDET recovered over 2,086 pounds of suspected marijuana. Lassen is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard/Released)
EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (June 2, 2020) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team conducts enhanced counter narcotics operations June 2. The Preble and embarked LEDET recovered over 2,000 kilograms of suspected cocaine. Preble is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard/Released)

Overview of U.S. military support to Campaign Martillo

The U.S. contribution to the multinational detection, monitoring and interdiction operation includes U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, aircraft from U.S. federal law enforcement agencies, and military and law enforcement units from various nations working together to deny transnational criminal organizations the ability to exploit these transshipment routes for the movement of narcotics, precursor chemicals, bulk cash, and weapons along Central American shipping routes. 

Martillo is a critical component of the U.S. government’s coordinated interagency regional security strategy in support of the White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime and the U.S. Central America Regional Security Initiative.  Fourteen countries are participating: Belize, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.  Chile has also contributed to the operation.

More information

Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South)

The Key West, Fla.-based JIATF South is the National Task Force that serves as the catalyst for integrated and synchronized interagency counter-illicit trafficking operations, and is responsible for the detection and monitoring of suspect air and maritime drug activity in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern Pacific. JIATF South also collects, processes, and disseminates counter drug information for interagency and partner nation operations.  Learn more about Joint Interagency Task Force South

Department of Defense role

While the Department of Defense is not the lead agency responsible for countering threat networks, its unique capabilities can be leveraged to support other U.S. government and partner nation efforts. SOUTHCOM is aligned with and supports lead agencies, such as the Departments of Justice and State, as well as partner nations in the threat network fight. 

Department of Defense interdiction role explained

The DoD is the lead federal agency in efforts to detect and monitor aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs towards the United States.  Based on information gathered by JIATF South-coordinated operations, U.S. law enforcement agencies and partner nations take the lead in interdicting drug runners.  U.S. military interdiction involvement, if any, is in support of those law enforcement agencies. 

Typically, U.S. military personnel are involved in supporting an interdiction during maritime operations in international waters, where U.S. Navy ships and helicopters patrol and intercept suspected traffickers.  The actual interdictions – boarding, search, seizures and arrests – are led and conducted by embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments or partner nation drug law enforcement agencies. 

SOUTHCOM LINES OF EFFORT

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