DVIDS – News – USS Wichita Returns Home Following a Successful 4th Fleet Deployment

The Freedom-variant coastal battleship USS Wichita (LCS 13) returned to Mayport, Fla., on Oct 21 after its second successful tour of the U.S. 4th Fleet area of ​​operations.

Wichita deployed alongside Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 Detachment 6 in March 2022 to support U.S. Southern Command objectives and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s counternarcotics operations in the Caribbean.

During the deployment, Wichita, HSC 28 Detachment 6, and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments 104, 107, and 108 seamlessly combined as a team to destroy an estimated 4,520 kilograms of cocaine valued at an estimated $316 million and 20 suspects to remove drug traffickers from the illegal drug trade.

“It was a tremendous honor to command this amazing crew on an incredibly successful mission,” said Capt. Eric Meyers, Wichita’s commanding officer. “The Wichita team has excelled at working with our partner countries, strengthening our interoperability and getting drugs off the streets. We look forward to the continued success of our Freedom variant colleagues deployed in support of this critical mission area.”

Wichita conducted bilateral naval exercises with the Dominican Republic Navy and conducted deck landing qualifications with U.S. Army pilots assigned to Joint Task Force Bravo in Honduras to strengthen partnerships and build interoperability between the forces. During a port visit in Cartagena, Colombia, the Wichita crew received the Colombian Chief of Naval Operations along with other senior members of the Colombian Navy to demonstrate Wichita’s capabilities and discuss the continued partnership and commitment between our two countries.

Throughout the deployment, Wichita worked with other US Navy warships as well as numerous US agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and partner international agencies, play a role in counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean.

US Naval Forces Southern Command/4. and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-oriented platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, yet suitable for open-sea operations. It is designed to combat asymmetric “anti-access” threats and is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence objectives.

Date of recording: 10/21/2022
Release Date: 27.10.2022 09:21
Story ID: 432099
Location: US

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