The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11) returned to Mayport, Fla., Dec. 4, following its deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations. Sioux City, along with the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 6, deployed on August 30, 2020, to conduct U.S. Southern Command and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations missions in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.
During their deployment. Sioux City participated in a multi-lateral passing exercise (PASSEX) with the British River-class Corvette HMS Medway, and the Jamaican Coast Guard Cutter HMJS Nanny of the Maroons, a successful exercise displaying the capabilities of interoperability in the 4th Fleet area of operations. While completing its mission, Sioux City traveled approximately 14, 000 nautical miles, visited six ports, and launched and recovered her embarked aircraft 304 times.
“The success of this deployment is a direct reflection of the hard work that the Sioux City Sailors have put in over the past nine months,” said Cmdr. Dan Reiher, the commanding officer of Sioux City. “This deployment gives a new meaning to our motto of ‘Forging a New Frontier’, because we have begun to define the capabilities of Sioux City and Littoral Combat Ships as a whole.”
Along with their embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 104, Sioux City disrupted approximately 2,120 kilograms of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of 148 million dollars. In addition, Sioux City conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) for a tanker in distress and completed multiple days of hurricane assistance and disaster relief in Honduras, collecting and delivering over 36,000 pounds of supplies in support of U.S. Southern Command’s Hurricane Iota relief efforts in Central America.
While completing its mission, Sioux City traveled approximately 14, 000 nautical miles, visited six ports, and launched and recovered her embarked aircraft 304 times. Sioux City partnered with U.S. Navy and international warships, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as other allied partners and international agencies, all of which are playing a role in counter-narcotics operations in the area.
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.