Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The littoral combat ship USS Sioux City has been deployed to support counter-narcotics operations in the U.S. Navy's Fourth Fleet area of operations.
The USS Sioux City, a Freedom-variant LCS, departed from its homeport of Naval Station Mayport last week to begin its deployment to support counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, according to a press release.
The Sioux City is traveling with the "Sea Knights" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 Detachment 4 and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment.
Sioux City's size, speed and agility make it ideal for operations that will include practical exercises and exchanges with partner nations to support the U.S. 4th Fleet's regional cooperation and security, officials said.
Sioux City's crew is manned by over 100 sailors and consists of surface warfare mission personnel, a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, and an aviation detachment to operate the embarked MH-60S helicopter.
"This is my first deployment, which is why I'm so excited; I've been waiting about three and a half years to finally deploy," Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Kyle Wawrzenski, a new Sioux City crewmember, said in a press release.
"The fact that we have such a good crew makes it even more exciting and enjoyable for me. That's what is really going to make this a great deployment," Wawrzenski said.
During its last deployment, the Sioux City intercepted about 2,120 kilograms -- well over 4,600 pounds -- of cocaine.