Jacksonville’s HITRON Takes Down Smugglers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, based in Jacksonville, assisted in the interdiction of a portion of the drugs being offloaded today at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.

HITRON Jacksonville was involved in two interdictions in two months. The interdictions occurred Feb. 4 and March 10 in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and yielded a total of more than 5,700 pounds of cocaine and the detention of 10 suspected smugglers. The $38 million drugs from the Feb. 4 interdiction will be offloaded in Mayport today.

HITRON is the only aerial counter narcotic unit of its type in the United States. HITRON Jacksonville crews routinely train for their missions on the St. Johns River using their own specialized helicopters and fast boats to keep their skills sharp. HITRON crews constantly deploy around the nation in support of homeland security and counter narcotic missions.

HITRON Jacksonville has helped seize more than 147 tons of illegal narcotics worth more than $8 billion since 1998. The air crews at HITRON have a 100-percent success rate with any vessel they engage with warning shots or disabling fire.

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