USS Kauffman, U.S. Coast Guard Team Nab Narcotics
Navy News Service
Story Number: NNS150513-21
Release Date: 5/13/2015 3:27:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson, USS Kauffman Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- In collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, the guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) recovered approximately 630 kg of cocaine, worth an estimated wholesale value of approximately $23 million in international waters in the drug transit zone of the Eastern Pacific, May 6.
During a routine patrol of the Eastern Pacific in international waters off the coast of Central and South America in support of Operation Martillo, Kauffman's embarked helicopter squadron (HSL 60) spotted suspicious packages in the water. The bales were recovered by grappling hook and brought on board Kauffman for examination. Once on board, the Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment identified the packages as cocaine and took custody of the cargo.
'Today's seizure would not have been possible without a successful international and interagency effort to provide support to tactical assets, like ourselves and other coalition and interagency assets, positioned to intercept drug traffickers moving their illicit contraband in the Eastern Pacific' said Cmdr. Michael Concannon, commanding officer of USS Kauffman.
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Martillo.
Operation Martillo, a joint, international law enforcement and military operation involving the U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targets illicit trafficking routes used by transnational criminal organizations in the waters off Central America.
Overall coordination of counter-drug patrols and surveillance in the Eastern Pacific is done by Joint Interagency Task Force South headquartered in Key West, Florida. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the Eastern Pacific region occur under the tactical control of the Coast Guard 11th District headquartered in Alameda, California.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet support USSOUTHCOM'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 regions.
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