US Coast Guard counter-narcotics experts have joined the British vessel to help prevent illegal drugs from South and Central America reaching North America and the wider world, say the Royal Navy.
In a release, the Royal Navy say that Mounts Bay, which was built to provide the Royal Marines with amphibious support on operations around the globe, is the UK’s long-term naval presence in the Caribbean, dedicating the summer and autumn to disaster relief operations in the wake of hurricanes which strike with devastating frequency.
Captain Angus Bissell said:
“Having completed our training and integration package with the US Coast Guard teams we are very much looking forward to supporting law enforcement and security in the Caribbean.”
The US Coast Guard’s HITRON – Helicopter Interdiction Tactical squadRON – and its counter-narcotics boarding team, the LEDET (Legal Enforcement DETachment) – were the assets that joined the vessel.
“They joined the ship in Miami, where she spent Christmas and New Year undergoing a spot of maintenance, before sailing for the Dutch territory of Curacao.
The ship and Coast Guard teams used the 1,200-mile crossing to hone combined skills and get used to each other’s ways of working and different equipment.”
The Royal Navy also say that LEDET will conduct most board-and-search operations by boat, so Mounts Bay’s Pacific 24 took them out for a ‘spin’ to give them an idea of its speed, manoeuvrability and, most importantly, disembarking to search a suspect craft.