One of only 13 vessels in her class still in commission (out of 71 built!), the Retnz is scheduled to decommission in 2014.
Frigate Rentz seizes $78M in cocaine
A San Diego-based warship has seized cocaine worth about $78 million — just one week into its latest drug-busting operation.
The frigate Rentz deployed from Naval Base San Diego on July 25 for the seven-month campaign called Operation Martillo (Spanish for “hammer”).
The frigate’s crew wasted no time in starting their latest mission in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean.
Less than a week on station in the 4th Fleet area of responsibility, servicemen seized 2,123 pounds of cocaine from a fishing vessel north of the Galapagos Islands.
“We are very fortunate to have the Rentz and embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment on patrol conducting counter transnational organized crime operations,” said Rear Adm. Sinclair M. Harris, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/4th Fleet.
“This major seizure in the first week the ship is on station is a clear indicator that illicit activities are taking place and must be addressed to counter their destabilizing affects in the region and in our nation.”
Operation Martillo targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, and is an international, interagency operation led by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a component of U.S. Southern Command.
During last week’s operation, the Rentz worked closely with a Navy P-3 Orion long-range patrol aircraft to detect and intercept the fishing vessel suspected of smuggling narcotics in international waters.
The U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment team aboard the frigate discovered and confiscated the cache of cocaine shortly after boarding the vessel.
Since Operation Martillo started in January 2012, 318,133 pounds of cocaine and 25,052 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $40 billion have been confiscated.
As well as targeting drug runners in the waterways, the Rentz will also take part in the annual multinational UNITAS maritime exercise next month.
This exercise will be conducted in the Southern Caribbean Sea off the coast of Colombia with naval forces from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The Rentz is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate.