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[Adm. Craig Faller, commander, U.S. Southern Command:] So our counternarcotics mission demands platforms for end game work and with law enforcement to take both the detainees we gain intel from and the drugs off the streets here in the U.S. Detroit has had success in that endeavor. They have an unmanned aerial vehicle Fire Scout embarked along with a helicopter. That is a great force package.
We have also used the Detroit in a freedom of navigation operation off the coast of Venezuela in waters that Venezuela claims that international law does not recognize. Detroit did a magnificent job sailing close to the coast of Venezuela and providing that intelligence and reporting back to us.
So the ships are multi-mission. The ships are capable. Unfortunately, we had a rocky start. I think the kinks are being worked out. The Detroit’s performance since November has been above standards in all manners of reliability, and we welcome the deployment of the next littoral combat ship to the region. We could use more of these ships. They are well suited for the kind of missions in this hemisphere.