US Navy – Coast Guard Team: 4 Interdictions in 4 Days
By U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)/Edited by Diálogo Staff June 25, 2020
The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) and the Freedom Variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) teams disrupted a combined 112 bales of suspected contraband worth over $79.6 million, May 24-27.
While on routine patrol, the Lassen on May 24 and 26, along with its embarked helicopters, assigned to the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72.2, made two separate interdictions.
Lassen was able to intercept the vessels with coordination of their embarked LEDET and Lassen small boats. The embarked helicopters onboard were instrumental in ensuring the compliance of the go-fast vessels (GFV) until the small boat teams arrived to achieve positive control of the vessels.
“This most recent interdiction is just one of the many examples of how Lassen and the embarked LEDET are combating transnational organized crime,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Kevin Painten, officer in charge, USCG LEDET 403.
Additionally, on May 24 and 27, the USS Detroit made two separate interdictions.
A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron VP 26, spotted an additional GFV, and the USS Detroit was vectored for a long range intercept. Upon intercept, Detroit employed one of her embarked helicopters, assigned to the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSC) 22, to provide overwatch and ensure compliance, while the embarked LEDET on Detroit small boats achieved positive control of the GFV.
The Lassen and Detroit recovered 70 bales of suspected cocaine totaling an estimated 2,009 kilograms, worth over an estimated $76 million.
Additionally, the Lassen recovered 42 bales of suspected marijuana totaling an estimated 2,086 pounds (946 kg), worth over an estimated $3.6 million.
“I could not be more proud of the Sea Devils onboard Lassen. Lassen continues to excel day-in, day-out,” said U.S. Navy Commander Judson Mallory, Lassen’s commanding officer. “This most recent success is a testament to my crew’s dedication, focus, and self-sufficiency, supported by their seamless integration with our air detachment and the embarked USCG LEDET.”
USS Lassen and USS Detroit are deployed to the U.S. Fourth Fleet area of operations conducting U.S Southern Command and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s enhanced counter drug operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counternarcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives.