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Onkel Neal 12-16-20 02:26 PM

LCS USS Gabrielle Giffords Nabs Narco Sub in the Pacific
Man, these narco subs are getting more sophisticated


This time the payload, which equals 2.4 tons of cocaine, was much larger than has been typical for this type of narco submarine, according to recent reported seizure. This may be part of a wider trend where narco subs are entrusted with greater loads per trip. The one discovered by the Colombian Navy last month, on Nov. 5, could carry six metric tons. That design was more sophisticated, using 10 tons of batteries to propel it silently.

Possible reasons for the increasing payloads may include the impact of COVID-19 on other trafficking routes, such as commercial flights and shipping as well as the increased law enforcement efforts of SOUTHCOM, according to analysts. Since the beginning of April, SOUTHCOM has been carrying out enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean. This has seen more warships, like Gabrielle Giffords, actively tasked with counter-narcotics missions with U.S. Coast Guard detachments embarked.

Aboard Gabrielle Giffords, the illegal drugs could be unloaded into the spacious mission bay. There they joined around 200 kg seized from a go-fast vessel (GFV) a few days before. Go-fasts are less sophisticated than the narco-subs and generally carry much less drugs.

Gabrielle Giffords completed a deployment to the Western Pacific in October before taking up the narco sub challenge in mid-October. Other LCS deployed on anti-drug missions at the time were USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and USS Detroit (LCS-7). SOUTHCOM continues to mount enhanced counter-narcotics operations employing warships in addition to Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and partner nation forces.

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