Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The USS Detroit departed for the U.S. Southern Command Monday to support enhanced counternarcotics operations operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
This is the Detroit's second deployment to the region for counternarcotics operations -- the first being in November 2019.
"I have learned a lot from our last deployment with Detroit and I am looking forward to the new challenges this one will bring," Lieutenant Junior Grade Haley Garvens, Detroit's auxiliary officer, said in a Navy press release.
At the end of August the USS Sioux City -- a Freedom-class littoral combat ship like the Detroit -- deployed to support counternarcotics operations in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific regions.
In April the White House announced an enhanced counternarcotics effort in the area involving 22 nations and 16 federal agencies.
International leaders discussed the initiative at the first-ever South America Defense Conference in August, with the Pentagon saying so far law enforcement and the military have seized 154 metric tons of cocaine and more than 40,000 pounds of marijuana -- worth an estimated $4 billion in profits.
The Detroit is equipped with surface warfare mission package personnel, a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and an MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.