San Diego-based Navy and Coast Guard ships intercepted a narcotics-trafficking vessel off Central America with 5,200 kilograms of cocaine, the largest seizure in the eastern Pacific since 2009.
While conducting routine patrols off the Central American coast, the Gary located and trailed a small coastal freighter. A SH-60B helicopter was launched to assess the vessel, and its crew was seen jettisoning suspected contraband into the water.
The Gary launched her small boat with a joint Navy and Coast Guard crew, which boarded and assumed control of the merchant vessel.
“This particular interdiction called for a much larger ‘footprint’ than we have typically needed to conduct routine operations,” said Steven McDowell, the Gary’s commanding officer. “It is situations like this where superb training and flawless execution are critical to success. The crew absolutely delivered.”
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Martillo, which began in January 2012. The operation involves U.S., European and Western Hemisphere nations and targets illicit trafficking routes in the waters off Central America.
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