P-3C Orion aircraft from the "Fighting Tigers" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 and the "Red Lancers" of VP-10 along with Canadian Frigate Ottawa HMCS (FFH-341) recovered 1,086 kilograms of cocaine, valued in excess of $75 million during an interdiction in the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility Nov. 29.
Operating outside the territorial waters of Costa Rica, the P-3C aircrew noted suspicious activity aboard a fishing vessel. Maintaining observation of the vessel, the aircrew coordinated with the Canadian frigate HMCS Ottawa for search and potential seizure of the vessel.
Upon arrival the HMCS Ottawa deployed its helicopter and a boarding team via fast boat. The intercept and search of the fishing vessel resulted in the seizure of 1,086 kilograms of cocaine, valued in excess of $75 million.
"It was pretty awesome to not only catch drug smugglers in the act, but to be able to coordinate and witness a successful interdiction with the Canadians. We are looking forward to many busts like this in the future," Lt. j.g. Matt Willard of VP-10 said.
VP-8 and VP-10 are both based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet supports USSOUTHCOM 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 Lt. j.g. Jonathan Messer, Patrol Squadron 8 Public Affairs