The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team seized over 2,700 kilograms of suspected cocaine May 16.
After a U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron VP 26, first spotted the low profile vessel (LPV), Pinckney was vectored for a long range intercept. Upon interception, Pinckney employed one of her embarked helicopters, assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, to provide over watch and ensure compliance while the embarked LEDET on Pinckney small boats achieved positive control of the LPV.
Pinckney and the embarked LEDET recovered a total of 136 bales of suspected cocaine totaling an estimated 2,700 kilograms, with a potential wholesale value worth over $54.3 million.
“This bust demonstrated the flexibility of the multiple ships and aircraft conducting counternarcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific,” said U.S. Navy Commander Andrew Roy, Pinckney’s commanding officer. “The entire team executed [the operation] with professionalism and precision to help get drugs on deck.”
USS Pinckney is deployed to the U.S. Fourth Fleet area of operations conducting U.S Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s enhanced counter drug operations missions in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
The Pinckney conducted their first interdiction on May 14.
On April 1, SOUTHCOM began enhanced counternarcotics 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 SOUTHCOM’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.