At the request of the Government of the Dominican Republic, the United States is providing increased maritime patrol aircraft known as DHC-8 (pronounced Dash 8), to support local operations aimed at detecting, monitoring, and countering illicit drug trafficking operations. These aircraft directly supported Dominican and international law enforcement operations and led to the recent seizure of 3000 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $15million the interdiction of 3 vessels and 5 arrests. Equipped with highly capable state-of-the-art sensors, these aircraft substantially enhanced our ability to support the Dominican Republic and US maritime patrols, providing accurate and real-time detection and monitoring information to law enforcement which identified illicit traffickers and supported the interdiction and apprehension of traffickers.
DHC-8 aircraft are low-profile civilian contract aircraft, specifically designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and interdiction efforts against illicit traffickers. The United States is committed to continuing efforts to work closely with the Dominican Republic and other Western Hemisphere Partner Nations against the Transnational Criminal Organizations that move drugs and other illicit cargo and leave rampant corruption in their wake. These operations are part of long-term, multinational regional efforts to combat the spread of Transnational Organized Crime (TOC). Illicit trafficking jeopardizes the safety and well being of citizens of every country and has a destabilizing influence on regional and national security.
International and U.S. interagency law enforcement agencies and military services are working together in the air, on land, and at sea to deny illicit traffickers the use of smuggling routes. These routes include border areas as well as sea and air lanes. This effort involves close cooperation with the Dominican Republic, working together on information sharing, engaging in leader conferences and subject matter expert exchanges, and improving communication and interoperability. Improving the safety and security of Partner Nations is a critical component of the U.S. Southern Command’s regional security strategy in support of the White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.