Having seized more than $141 million worth of illegal narcotics, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Valiant returned to its Naval Station Mayport homebase on March 9 from an eight-week counter-drug deployment.
The Valiant was deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South, operating off the coast of Central and South America. Valiant’s crew stopped and seized eight vessels suspected of drug smuggling, detaining 23 suspected narco-traffickers and recovering more than 4.7 tons of illegal narcotics.
Cmdr. Adam Chamie, commanding officer of Cutter Valiant, said: “Eight interdictions in a single deployment is incredible. This patrol represents the most interdictions by a Valiant crew in her 49-year history. We were all very proud to be a part of it.”
Valiant’s success on this deployment follows the achievements of its Fall 2015 patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, during which the cutter and its crew seized over 3.9 tons of illegal narcotics with a street value of nearly $117 million. Both patrols yielded more than $258 million in contraband from a total of 13 vessels and 39 suspected narco-traffickers detained for prosecution.
These counter-drug interdictions were carried out as part of Operation Martillo, an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies to counter illicit trafficking.
During the course of the patrol, Valiant took part in a Partner Nation Engagement with the Panamanian National Naval and Air Service. The day-long event took place near Panama City and was comprised of three training sessions, including law enforcement control techniques, small boat tactics, and voice and visual communications.