USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752), left, and the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) maneuver in formation during Talisman Sabre 2019 on July 11, 2019. US Navy Photo
Having watched the US Naval Institute News’ Fleet and Marine Tracker for some time, I am a bit surprised to see six ship assigned to Fourth Fleet, inspite of the on going COVID-19 problem. Six ships is only 2% of the Navy’s 296 “battleforce” ships (Note, the 3 Mayport based Cyclone class patrol craft that sometimes assist in drug enforcement are not counted among the 296), but it is far more than we typically see in the area. Unfortunately the USNI site gives us no information about what type ships are deployed or where they are. (Pacific or Caribbean?)
This is the first solid evidence I have seen that the Navy is actually going to carry through on their stated intention to surge assets for drug enforcement. There were four ships reported in the area on April 13, also an unusually high number. There were six reported on April 6. March 30, there were two. March 23 there was only one. Prior to that it was ususally one ship, on rare occasions two, sometimes none.
Supposedly additional aircraft and other assets are also being assigned to support the ships.