When a U.S. Navy ship named after a Montana city successfully foils over $200 million in drug trafficking operations, it deserves a salute.

That's the news that Mr. Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach, shared with us,  after the USS Billings, the first ship in naval service named after Billings, Montana, returned from supporting the Joint Interagency Task Force South’s counter-narcotics operations.

The USS Billings is a freedom-class combat ship of the United States Navy. Its "Gold Crew" returned to Mayport, Florida, last week, following a second successful deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.

Mr. Burke explains that the USS Billings, along with the “Valkyrie" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron, deployed to support counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. During its deployment, Billings, along with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, assisted in disrupting an estimated 3,065 kilograms of cocaine along with 1,841 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated street value of $217.7 million. They also assisted in the removal of 12 suspected drug traffickers from the narcotics trade.

USS Billings Commander Brett Seeley said,  "I am incredibly proud of everything they accomplished this deployment. They sailed the Billings from the Atlantic into the Pacific Ocean and crossed the equator for the first time in the ship’s history. The crew succeeded at working with our partner nations, taking narcotics off the streets."

The Billings’ Blue Crew has since relieved the Gold Crew and the Billings will remain deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.

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