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USS Gary Deploys in Support of Counter Illicit-trafficking

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110205-13

From Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigate, USS Gary (FFG 51) departed San Diego for an independent deployment to the 4th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean Feb. 4.

A crew of about 25 officers and 200 enlisted Sailors will conduct integrated operations with Joint Interagency Task Force-South, based in Key West, Fla., and Coast Guard District 11, based in Alameda, Calif.

Commanded by Cmdr. Christopher J. Budde, Gary will operate in support of counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) efforts, conducting counter-narco-terrorism operations.

Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43, Det. 6, is embarked aboard Gary and will provide aerial support with an SH-60B helicopter. HSL 43, Det. 6, is joined by a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment who will conduct boarding and law enforcement operations.

"Due to the constantly evolving nature of narcotics smuggling, USS Gary always expects to encounter new tactics employed by traffickers," said Budde. "We will be tested in all warfare areas as we deter and disrupt the movement of illicit narcotics over the sea."

"Keeping illegal substances off our shores is our number one goal. No matter what we encounter I know the crew of the Gary is ready," he continued.

USS Gary falls under the command of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, led by Cmdre. Peter M. Driscoll and is one of two Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates in DESRON 7. Gary will relieve USS Jarrett (FFG 33). Jarrett is currently assigned to DESRON 1 and is underway supporting counter-illicit-trafficking efforts in the 4th Fleet AOR.

On its most recent deployment to the Eastern Pacific in the spring of 2009, Gary disrupted more than 6.5 metric tons of cocaine bound for the United States. Gary is expecting to participate in community and cooperative partnership building in addition to their counter narcotics mission.

Gary helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

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