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COMALAPA, El Salvador. (NNS) -- Sailors from Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 completed turnover with VP-10 at Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa, El Salvador, in the U.S. 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility in support of Operation Martillo counter transnational organized crime operations (C-TOC).

The airplanes and crews will be operating out of El Salvador flying detection and monitoring missions along with aircraft and surface units from partner nations, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Patrol Squadron 47 is a key component to the multi-national C-TOC mission by using advanced sensors to detect allusive smugglers using littoral waterways to move illegal contraband, to include narcotics, drug money and people, across international borders," Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet said.

In order to prepare for this mission VP-47 has prioritized their readiness throughout their home cycle in order to qualify multiple crews, aircraft, and personnel to fully support CSL Comalapa and Joint Inter Agency Task Force South.

The squadron successfully completed the Advanced Readiness Program (ARP) and the Operational Readiness Evaluation (ORE), which are intensive pre-deployment workups to qualify crews in broad arrays of multi-mission maritime operations.

Included in these workups were multiple qualifications in United States European Command, and United States Africa Command. VP-47 also participated in last summer's Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world's largest multinational naval exercise, further honing their maritime patrol skills.

VP-47, a P-3 Orion squadron is home ported at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, and has detachments in Sigonella Italy, Djibouti, Africa and Rota, Spain.

Operation Martillo - Spanish for "hammer"- is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force South.

Operation Martillo is part of the U.S. government's coordinated regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Security Initiative.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

Article originally posted at http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74934.

Byline: By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Allen, 4th Fleet Public Affairs
Article Date: 6/20/2013
Title: Navy aircraft squadron begins deployment in support of Operation Martillo
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