23:44 GMT +313 November 2019
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    US Navy Adm. Craig Faller speaks during a change of command ceremony at the n U.S. Southern Command headquarters on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Doral, Fla.

    US Navy to Deploy Ship on Counter-Narcotics Mission in Latin America - S Command

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Commander Craig Faller told Congress on Thursday that SOUTHCOM will deploy a multi-mission support vessel to Latin America this year to support counter-narcotics operations there.

    “Increased US joint and naval presence in regional operations and exercises will encourage partner forces, to include navies, to participate in regional security efforts such as HA/DR [humanitarian assistance and disaster relief], CN [counter-narcotics] and CT [counter-terrorism],” Faller said.

    Feller explained that SOUTHCOM contracted the vessel — a littoral combat ship – with congressional support in order to help fill capability gaps.

    USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5)
    © Photo : US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky
    The vessel will be employed to support US and partner nation law enforcement in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, Feller said.

    The SOUTHCOM commander characterized the vessel’s mission as being “fit for this region” and said the US military welcomes its deployment this year.

    The US military is leveraging its growing science and technology portfolio to mitigate gaps in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Feller added.

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    drugs, US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), United States, Latin America
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