US Navy frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) rescues fishermen in distress off coast of Ecuador

BZ men & women of USS Rentz! Conducting a rescue of mariners in distress 200 nautical miles off the Ecuadorian coast.

The USS Rentz (FFG 46) is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate homeported at San Diego. In August this year, the frigate intercepted a $78 million cocaine shipment while conducting counter-narcotics operations in support of Operation Martillo. One of only 13 vessels in her class remaining in commission (of 71 built!), the Rentz is scheduled to decommission during FY 2014. But considering how busy she’s been, it does not look like the Rentz intends to go quietly and without fanfare. Good work. Good work indeed.

Lost at Sea: U.S. Navy Ship Rescues 5 Off Ecuador

Guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) conducted a Safety-of-Life-at-Sea operation rescue Oct. 20-21 for a fishing vessel, 200 nautical miles off the coast of Ecuador in distress and stranded for 10 days.

The crew of the 14 meter vessel and four other small crafts in tow, had been without fuel or food prior to Rentz’ arrival.

The distressed vessel was spotted early Sunday morning, Oct. 20 by Rentz’ forward lookouts, who reported the small craft roughly 6,000 yards forward of the ship’s position. The ship swiftly responded and launched a rigid-hulled inflatable boat to investigate the situation with embarked U.S. Coast Guard LEDET personnel.

During the two-day rescue operation, LEDET personnel discovered that the vessel and five Ecuadorian nationals aboard had been struck by heavy weather, disorienting the crew and setting the small vessel 100 nautical miles off-course.

Adrift and out of fuel, the crew subsisted on bananas until Rentz arrived on scene and provided meals, ready-to-eat and approximately 120 gallons of diesel fuel; enough to return to home.

“Our crew is prepared to handle a myriad of situations while deployed to the 4th Fleet Area of Operations, including Safety-of-Life-at-Sea operations. We do so with the utmost pride and professionalism, and it is our duty to assist those in need on the high seas when the time comes. I am very pleased with this operation and could not be more proud of the swift actions taken by our crew,” Cmdr. Lance Lantier, commanding officer of USS Rentz said.

Rentz is currently conducting counter transnational organized crime operations in the 4th Fleet Area of Operations as part of Operation Martillo which began in January 2012.

USS Rentz seizes $78 million in cocaine

The USS Rentz (FFG-46) is an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate based at Naval Base San Diego.

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

The Rentz is one of only five frigates that are still stationed in San Diego.

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.

US Navy FY 2014 decommissioning list

FY 2014 decommissioning list, per NAVADMIN 175/13: