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Sioux City and Dominican Republic Conduct Maritime Interdiction Exercise

27 July 2021

From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

CARIBBEAN SEA - The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and the Dominican Republic Navy conducted a bilateral maritime interdiction exercise off the coast of Santo Domingo, July 22.

During the exercise, forces worked together to find, track and intercept a simulated drug smuggling vessel and practiced a series of tactical shipboard movements, formations, and vectoring. They also tested maritime command and control capabilities.

Sioux City deployed her 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) as the simulated go-fast smuggler track of interest (TOI) and her MH-60S Seahawk attached to the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 3, while the Dominican Navy participated with coastal patrol vessel Canopus (GC 107), and a Boston Whaler interceptor patrol boat.

The training helped to improve interoperability and demonstrate the strategic partnership with the Dominican Republic that helps facilitate conducting naval operations against emerging threats in the region.

“Every chance to work with our partners presents a valuable training opportunity,” said Cmdr. Wade Smith, commanding officer of Sioux City. “The more we practice, the more prepared we are to face real-world scenarios, and be able to work hand-in-hand to execute our shared mission. I’m grateful to have so many professional and motivated Sailors aboard to safely conduct these training evolutions.”

Bilateral engagements allow both navies to strengthen tactical readiness for future operations, maintain readiness at sea, and support continued commitment to security and stability in the region.

Sioux City conducted a similar interdiction exercise with the Dominican Republic May 23, with coastal patrol vessels Orion (GC 107) and Betelgeuse (GC 102).  

Sioux City is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.

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