USS Elrod Visits NS Guantanamo Bay
USS Elrod (FFG 55), currently supporting Joint Interagency Task Force South (JITF) counter-narcotics operations in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility, visited Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay, March 27-30.
Elrod, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, was in port for fuel, water and re-supply services. The crew was also provided opportunities to enjoy Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities and shop at the Navy Exchange.
“Elrod is deployed to the Fourth Fleet area in support of Operation Martillo, a joint and inter-agency effort to stem the flow of drugs through the littorals of the Caribbean,” said Elrod Commanding Officer, Cmdr. John Callaway. “Visiting Guantanamo Bay is a great opportunity for crew rest and logistics in a port with superb Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities. We appreciate the hospitality and tremendous support available here.”
Operation Martillo (Spanish for ‘hammer’) is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by JIATF South, a component of SOUTHCOM. Operation Martillo is a component of the U.S. government’s coordinated interagency regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Regional Security Initiative. Fourteen countries are participating: Canada, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.
JIATF is a multiservice, multiagency national task force which conducts counter illicit trafficking operations, intelligence fusion and multi-sensor correlation to detect, monitor, and handoff suspected illicit trafficking targets; promotes security cooperation and coordinates country team and partner nation initiatives in order to defeat the flow of illicit traffic.
Naval Today Staff , March 30, 2012; Image: navy