HMS Mersey starts counter drug ops in Caribbean Sea

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Royal Navy’s River class offshore patrol vessel, HMS Mersey, has sailed from Florida, USA after completing her final preparations to start Counter Drug Operations in the Caribbean and Central America.

The ship arrived in Key West, Florida after battling storms en route.

Key West is home to the Joint Inter Agency Task Force South (JIATF-S), the multinational effort to combat narcotics smuggling in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific and the primary reason for Mersey’s visit.

Intelligence and operational briefs to the Command Team, as well as secure communications fittings have been the final check offs for Mersey to be mission ready to support JIATF-S in combating the flow of illicit drugs in her new area of operations.

With briefings complete, the ship hosted the Director of JIATF-S, RADM Tomney USN and his Deputy, RDML Pringle, USCG.

Senior officers from JIATF-S and their support agencies were invited onboard for a Reception and Capability Demonstration, giving the Ship’s Company the opportunity to show what Mersey can do.

Having completed the visit, Mersey is now headed for Mexico where she will conduct a training exercise at sea.

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