CARIBBEAN SEA - The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 402 seized an estimated $22 million in suspected cocaine on Friday, Jan. 7.
A news release from the U.S. Navy says while on patrol, a maritime patrol aircraft spotted a suspected drug smuggling go-fast vessel (GFV) and Milwaukee was vectored in for an intercept. Milwaukee deployed her MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the "Sea Knights" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 22), Detachment 5 and a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB). The LEDET observed packages jettisoned into the water and then gained positive control of the GFV. After receiving permission to conduct a boarding, they recovered the packages and five suspected drug traffickers were detained.
Milwaukee and embarked LEDET recovered an estimated 315 kilograms of suspected cocaine worth an approximated street value of over $22 million.
USS Milwaukee deployed Dec. 14, to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter-illicit drug trafficking missions in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.