Anti-Sub Squadron On Front Lines Of Counter-Drug Ops
The "Jaguars" of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) (HSL)
60, Det. 1, of Mayport (FL) returned July 19 from their first
extended deployment since the squadron’s inception three
years ago. The Jaguars and their accompanying cruiser USS
Ticonderoga (CG 47) set new records for both drug confiscation and
prisoner apprehension during a single deployment.
The deployment paired the Jaguars’ first extended underway
with Ticonderoga’s last.
"We’re thrilled with the way the deployment went. Our hard
work certainly paid off," said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Gootee, Det.
1’s officer in charge. "We are the US Navy’s only Light
Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) MK III Seahawk helo Reserve
squadron, and we’ve set the bar incredibly high for future
In only six months, the Jaguar-Ticonderoga team enacted 15 stops
of suspected and illegal smugglers, which yielded more than 10 tons
of uncut cocaine and heroin, and the apprehension of 29
narco-terrorists. The US Drug Enforcement Administration estimated
the street value of the seized drugs at more than $1 billion.
The mere presence of the Jaguar-Ticonderoga team interrupted
countless proposed smuggling operations carrying drugs and fuel,
while helping to secure US borders. As a result, the team’s
attentive vigilance contributed to the safety and well being of
Although the Navy has been sending counter-drug deployments to
the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific for years, this was the first
time a Navy Reserve LAMPS MK III squadron stood at the helm of the
air department — those men and women responsible for the
initial detection, identification and prosecution of narcotics
"Achieving full integration between Reserve and active duty
forces is a priority in our theater of operations," said Rear Adm.
Vinson E. Smith, commander, US Naval Forces Southern Command.
"HSL-60’s great performance will serve as a model for future
During their deployment, the Jaguars flew more than 400 hours in
support of Ticonderoga and Joint Interagency Task Force South.
"Throughout the cruise, we all worked tirelessly to maintain
high mission completion and fully mission capable rates," said
HSL-60 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Jamie Pierce. "In the end, our
efforts paid off in record-setting numbers and recognition to
match. We are proof positive the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)
mandate for Active Reserve Integration (ARI) is alive and well.
Everyone in the Jaguar-Ticonderoga team has made me extremely proud
to be a member of the Reserve Navy. This is an example of what
serving one’s country is all about."