Sequestration: Navy Withdraws Ships From Drug War

Coast Guard Claims 'Major Blow' in Losing Navy Frigates

The first visible result of sequestration was seen from the US Navy today, with the announcement that they are suspending the deployments of a pair of frigates to the Caribbean as part of a drug war operation.

The deployments were to be a part of “Operation Martillo,” which involves Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. The Coast Guard is complaining that the loss of the two ships is a major blow to the operation.

The ships are the USS Kauffman and the USS Rentz, both Perry-class guided missile frigates. The Kauffman has spent much of its nearly 30 years in service engaged in “anti-narcotics” operations, though it also spent some time in the early 1990’s enforcing sanctions against Iran as well.

Operation Martillo is a part of Southern Command, and has included ground deployments of Marines to Guatemala. Officials claimed 25,000 pounds of marijuana was captured by the operation in 2012.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.