Joint Interagency Task Force
The JIATF's mission within the U.S. Southern Command AOR is to plan, conduct, and direct interagency detection, monitoring, and sorting operations of air and maritime drug smuggling activities; plan and conduct flexible operations to detect, monitor, disrupt and deter the cultivation, production and transportation of illicit narcotics; utilize and integrate C4I systems to efficiently coordinate operations and intelligence information with other counterdrug centers, law enforcement agencies, and domestic and international counterdrug partners; and collect, fuse, and disseminate counterdrug information from all participating agencies to the detection and monitoring forces for tactical action.
Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) East was created as a result of Presidential Decision Directive 14 which ordered a review of the nation's command and control and intelligence centers involved in international counternarcotics operations. On 7 April 1994, Dr. Lee Brown, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, signed the National Interdiction Command and Control Plan which directed establishment of three national interagency task forces (JIATF East in Key West, Florida; JIATF South in Panama; and JIATF West in Alameda, California) and the Domestic Air Interdiction Coordination Center at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California.
JIATF East was formed by integrating additional law enforcement personnel into the former Joint Task Force Four (JTF-4) organization which was officially formed 22 February 1989 under the direction of the U. S. Commander in Chief Atlantic. On 1 June 1997, the Commander in Chief U. S. Southern Command expanded his area of responsibility to include the Caribbean and the waters bordering South America, and assumed command and control of JIATF East. In compliance with the 1979 Panama Canal Treaty and the necessity to complete the military drawdown in Panama by the end of 1999, the decision was made to merge JIATF South and JIATF East into one organization. Transfer of the JIATF South mission to the merged JIATF was completed 1 May 1999.
The interagency concept of the task force is illustrated by the leadership composed primarily of representatives from the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation (U. S. Coast Guard) and the Department of the Treasury (U. S. Customs Service). Other assigned agencies include Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Defense Intelligence Agency; Naval Criminal Investigative Service; and the National Security Agency. Great Britain, France and the Netherlands provide ships, aircraft, and liaison officers to the task force; and the Flagofficer of the Netherlands Forces Caribbean commands one task group in the task force. Since the merger in 1999, the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela also have assigned liaison officers to JIATF East. The result is a fully integrated, international task force organized to capitalize on the force multiplier effect of the various agencies and countries involved.
The focus of the command is a Joint Operations Command Center where intelligence and operations functions are fused in a state-of-the-art command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence facility. The task force coordinates the employment of USN and USCG ships and aircraft, USAF and USCS aircraft, and aircraft and ships from allied nations and law enforcement agencies -- a complete integration of sophisticated multi-agency forces committed to the cause of interdicting the flow of illicit drugs.
JIATF East is located at Naval Air Station Key West, Truman Annex, Key West, Florida, in facilities that originally housed the Fleet Sonar School and former JTF-4.
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