Guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) employed airborne use of force (AUF) to stop a vessel suspected of transporting illegal drugs Oct. 25 in support of Operation Martillo.
The interdiction operation recovered 1,719 pounds of cocaine with a wholesale value of $15.6 million.
While Carr's embarked SH-60B was conducting a routine patrol, they identified a fast moving speed boat. After closing in to investigate, the contact immediately altered course and attempted to escape. The SH-60B helicopter with an AUF gunner on board attempted to stop the vessel, when those efforts were not successful the gunner fired warning shots across the bow and aft of the speedboat. When the vessel did not stop, the gunner fired disabling rounds, bringing the speedboat to an immediate halt.
Carr then launched their rigid-hull inflatable boat with the LEDET and boarded the speedboat. In a coordinated effort, Sailors from Carr and personnel from the LEDET recovered packages of various sizes from the water, later determined to be cocaine.
Since the beginning of their deployment in June, Carr and the embarked LEDET have seized approximately 3,906 pound of cocaine and 4,134 pounds of marijuana, with a combined wholesale value of more than $39 million.
Carr is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and is currently deployed in support of Operation Martillo, under operational control to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and C4F (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) while conducting Counter Transnational Organized Crime (C-TOC) operations in support of Joint Interagency Task Force - South (JIATF-S), U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), and U.S. Coast Guard District 11.
COMUSNAVSO/COMFOURTHFLT supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
Article by Ensign Joshua J. Stewart, USS Carr Public Affairs