Coast Guard air squadron holds change of command ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Capt. Kevin P. Gavin relieved Capt. Donna L. Cottrell as commanding officer of Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville during a change of command ceremony at HITRON Friday.

HITRON is America's first airborne law enforcement unit trained and authorized to employ airborne use of force and intercept go-fast vessels suspected of transporting illicit narcotics toward U.S. borders.

Under Cottrell's command, from June 2011 to April 2014, HITRON crews busted 70 boats and interdicted more than 65 tons of cocaine and 7.5 tons of marijuana, with a total value of $1.7 billion.
HITRON Interdictions
Since Inception:
• Boats: 268
• Cocaine: 263.54 tons
• Marijuana: 17.71 tons
• Total Value: $11.42 billion

Fiscal Year 2014:
• Boats: 21
• Cocaine: 12.49 tons
• Marijuana: 3.57 tons
• Total Value: $321.42 million

"This is the hardest job you will ever love. This crew will serve you well and make you proud," Cottrell said to Gavin.


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