MAY 22, 2020 – The guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney, with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment team, seized an estimated 3,000 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
In the May 14 operation, a U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron 26 spotted the low-profile vessel. The Pinckney, with embarked helicopters assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75 and the embarked Coast Guard team moved into position to intercept the vessel.
They recovered 70 bales of cocaine worth more than $28 million in wholesale value.
“This was truly a team effort,” Navy Cmdr. Andrew Roy, USS Pinckney’s commanding officer, said. “The air support we received was first class. We were able to safely and successfully conduct this operation due to the outstanding professionalism of the Navy-Coast Guard team.”
The USS Pinckney is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations conducting U.S Southern Command and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s enhanced counterdrug operations missions in the Caribbean Sea and the Eastern Pacific.
On April 1, U.S. Southern Command 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, officials said. The Coast Guard, the Navy, Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counterdrug operations, they added.
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 and Central and South American regions.