SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) departed on an independent deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility, Sept. 24.
Gary will deploy with its crew of 240 Sailors. The ship is expected to play an integral part in the counter-illicit trafficking mission Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer"), in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S 4th Fleet and U.S. Southern Command.
Operation Martillo targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus and is an international, interagency operation which includes the participation of 14 countries committed to a regional approach against transnational criminal organizations moving illicit cargo.
Along with the crew of Gary, the drug interdiction team includes the ship's organic Visit, Board, Search and Seizure team providing support for the embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. A Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron 49 detachment will provide embarked air support. The law enforcement phase of counterdrug operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, California.
Gary helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.
The ship is scheduled to be decommissioned after completion of this deployment culminating in more than 30 years of service to the country.
Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.
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