WATCH: U.S. Coast Guard Tactical HITRON Helicopter Operate in Known Smuggling Vectors
By U.S. Coast Guard // November 15, 2020
expertly trained aircrews and precision marksmen to disable go-fast drug smuggling vessels
WATCH: U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron helicopters operate in known smuggling vectors. In the above video, Rear Adm. Donna L. Cottrell, Ninth District Commander, talks about her experience as the 6th Commanding Officer of #HITRON. (U.S. Coast Guard video)
(U.S. COAST GUARD) – Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron operations started as an experiment in 1998 to halt the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. Drug trafficking organizations primarily used “go-fast” boats, high-speed smuggling vessels capable of traveling over twice the speed of Coast Guard cutters.
The Coast Guard needed a way to counter the threat, and as a result, in late 1998, six Coast Guard pilots and four enlisted aircrews developed tactics and procedures to utilize armed helicopters operating aboard Coast Guard cutters to answer the call.
HITRON helicopters operate in known smuggling vectors and rely on expertly trained aircrews and precision marksmen to disable go-fast drug smuggling vessels in the event suspects refuse to comply with verbal and visual warnings for law enforcement boardings in accordance with international maritime law.
In the above video, Rear Adm. Donna L. Cottrell, Ninth District Commander, talks about her experience as the 6th Commanding Officer of #HITRON.
In this documentary series, the Coast Gaurd tracks down the founding members, pioneers and stakeholders who have played an important part in HITRON’s history.