The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) will return from her six-month, independent deployment conducting counter transnational organized crime operations in the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR), April 5.
Gary was deployed to Central and South America in support of Operation Martillo and U.S. Fourth Fleet’s mission, Southern Seas 2012.
Operation Martillo (Spanish for “hammer”) is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner-nation effort targeting illicit-trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, a component of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
During her deployment, Gary participated in nine interdictions and disruptions of drug trafficking vessels resulting in the seizure of 5,551 kilograms of cocaine, hindering narco-trafficking operations and preventing an estimated $388 million (street value) of cocaine from hitting U.S. streets. Ten arrests and four seized drug trafficking vessels were also sunk as hazards to navigation.
The ship spent 3,120 hours underway, patrolling on-station, conducting 15 maritime interdiction boardings, with three different embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachments (405, 403, and 408), and conducted more than 550 hours of flight operations with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49, Detachment 3.
They participated in theater security cooperation/community relations projects, in Golfito, Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama. Gary’s Sailors volunteered to clean and paint several schools that were in dire need of repair.
“I am incredibly proud of the performance of the crew of USS Gary, while deployed to the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility in support of Joint Interagency Task Force – South and Operation Martillo,” said USS Gary commanding officer, Cmdr. James Brown. “The professionalism and dedication of everyone on board, to include our embarked helicopter detachment HSL-49 Det 3 and the three U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachments, is reflected in the successful interdictions and the amount of cocaine disrupted.”