HMS Lancaster on the Lookout for Drug Trafficking

HMS Lancaster in the Lookout for Illegal Movement of Drugs

Following a successful drugs bust on the island of Anguilla, a Royal Navy warship is now fully engaged in her new counter narcotics role.

HMS Lancaster, one of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, recently helped the Royal Anguilla Police Force track down a series of cannabis plantations on the island, which the authorities raided and shut down.

This was just a taste of what lies ahead for the ship which has now moved on to Puerto Rico where she has embarked a team from the United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET).

Together they will patrol the Caribbean for the next few months stopping the illegal movement of drugs as well as fulfilling a disaster relief and humanitarian role should the region be struck by a hurricane.

Lancaster will use the LEDET, as well as her own boarding team, to stop and search vessels along with her Lynx helicopter for aerial observation.

In between the counter narcotic patrols Lancaster will continue to visit numerous Commonwealth and Caribbean countries conducting regional defence engagement, training with other navies, and demonstrating the Royal Navy’s continued commitment to the region.

HMS Lancaster in the Lookout for Drug Trafficking

HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said: “Lancaster has made a successful start to the deployment in terms of engaging with the Overseas Territories and providing reassurance and security at the start of the hurricane season.

“We can now build on this success as we embark on the counter narcotic phase alongside the US Coast Guard.”

Counter narcotic operations with partner nations is one of a range of tasks Lancaster is conducting across the Caribbean in support of British interests.

Others include providing reassurance and security for British Overseas Territories and the provision of humanitarian aid and disaster relief during the core hurricane season.

Press Release, July 22, 2013; Image: UK Navy