USS McClusky departs San Diego searching for drug smugglers

Departures are always difficult for our Navy sailors and their families and loved ones; homecomings are the best. But think about the various missions of our Navy ships at sea, including Wednesday, when the USS Vandergrift pulled in with a San Diego family who'd been stranded in an open ocean in their sailboat. The mission for the guided missile frigate USS McClusky for the next five and a half months: drug interdiction off Central and South America. 
“We do have a Coast Guard detachment trained in this, and a helicopter detachment, and they've been working with the Coast Guard for the last several months getting ready to do this mission,” said commanding officer Jan McCann.
It's officially called Operation Martillo, and it involves not just the Navies of the countries in the area, but Canada and Great Britain. Tactics? It's often a cat-and-mouse game between the ships and the drug runners.
“They pay attention to what we do and they modify what they do, and we have to change our tactics to keep up with them. Sure enough, we found the wife of a crew member whose going to be watching the radar looking for the bad guys.”
Petty officer Deandre Davis waved his last goodbyes to a tearful wife Monica; Davis has had several deployments during his Navy career, but this is his wife's first.
“He just tells me to be strong and to wait for him when he returns, and that's what I'm going to do,” said wife Monica.
Monica has plenty of support here from her sister and best friends.
As for the mission, if you want to bet on a specific ship to intercept the smugglers, your odds are favorable with the McClusky. Two years ago, on a similar deployment, the McClusky seized 10,000 pounds of cocaine – worth an estimated $174 million.
“We're hoping to top it – get as much as we can to make our streets safer,” continued McCann.
Categories: KUSI