The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team seized 1,400 kilograms (over 3,000 pounds) of cocaine May 14. A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26, first spotted the low profile vessel (LPV). Pinckney, with her embarked helicopters assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 and the embarked LEDET, moved into position to intercept the LPV. Pinckney and the embarked LEDET recovered a total of 70 bales of cocaine totaling an estimated 1,400 kilograms, worth over $28 million wholesale value.
USS Pinckney (DDG-91) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named for African American Officer’s Cook First Class William Pinckney (1915–1976), who received the U.S Navy Cross for his courageous rescue of a fellow crewmember on board the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6) during the Battle of Santa Cruz. USS Pinckney is deployed to the U.S. Fourth Fleet area of operations conducting U.S Southern Command and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s enhanced counter drug operations missions in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives.
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations. 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.