"Teamwork and persistence are the keys to success in countering the transnational criminal organizations behind the drug trade," said Cmdr. Chris German, deputy chief of law enforcement operations for the 11th Coast Guard District.
"U.S. and Canadian navy ships extend the reach of Coast Guard's law enforcement teams, and the cooperation and assistance of partner nations help us keep deadly drugs off the streets of all our nations. Stopping this shipment saved lives and helps degrade the smugglers deadly and corrosive enterprise," he said.
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Gary is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Martillo, which began in January 2012.
Operation Martillo, a joint, international law enforcement and military operation involving the U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targets illicit trafficking routes in the waters off Central America. U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) leads the U.S. military involvement in the Joint Operation Task Force.
Overall coordination of counter-drug patrols and surveillance in the Eastern Pacific is done by a joint agency task force headquartered in Key West, Florida. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the region occur under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard 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.