While away, the 453-foot-long Vandegrift and its crew of about 200 sailors will combat drug trafficking by organized crime in coastal waters, according to Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs Office. An anti-drug trafficking Coast Guard team and helicopter crew will also be aboard the Vandegrift for its mission.
“My officers and crew are ready and fully prepared as we head out to conduct this very important mission with our maritime partner nations,” said Cmdr. Luis Alva, commanding officer of the Vandegrift.
The Vandegrift is named for the late General Alexander Vandegrift, a Medal of Honor recipient who led Marines in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II and later served as 18th commandant of the United States Marine Corp.