The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS McClusky (FFG 41) departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the 4th Fleet area of operations, April 10.
The ship is expected to play an integral part in the counter-transnational organized crime (C-TOC) mission Operation Martillo (Spanish for “hammer”). Operation Martillo is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere partner-nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters in Central America. Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a component of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), leads U.S. military participation.
Operation Martillo is a component of the U.S. government’s coordinated interagency regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Regional Security Initiative.
“McClusky and her crew are ready and excited to deploy to the 4th Fleet area of operations,” said Cmdr. Ann McCann, the ship’s commanding officer. This crew, along with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 Detachment 3, has trained hard and is ready to represent the United States Navy and execute counter illicit trafficking in concert with our regional and interagency partners.”
Along with the crew of McClusky, the drug interdiction team includes the ship’s organic Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team providing support for the embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 103.
McClusky helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and humanitarian/disaster response.
Press Release, April 11, 2014; Image: Wikimedia