In close cooperation with Curaçao and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United States Air Force is providing support to U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counternarcotics operations in the Caribbean region through the U.S. Forward Operating Location on Curaçao.
The U.S. Air Force is deploying an E-3 Sentry (AWACS), an E-8 Joint STARS (JSTARS), and refueling aircraft at the Forward Operating Location on Curaçao to support the counternarcotics efforts. Approximately 200 crew and maintenance personnel will accompany the aircraft. This multinational effort reflects our ongoing commitment to global cooperation targeting drug trafficking and transnational crime. The partnership demonstrates the strong ties between the United States, Curaçao, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands as countries that uphold the rule of law.
The United States works with international partners worldwide to collectively address transnational narcotics trafficking. We must diligently work together to stop narco-traffickers who seek to undermine democracy. In this region, twenty-two nations provide support to counternarcotics efforts as part of the Joint Interagency Task Force – South (JIATF-South). Seventy five percent of drug interdictions this year have involved our regional partners. Our efforts ensure that our countries reduce the corrupting influence of the drug trade and the other illicit activity.
The coronavirus pandemic makes this a particularly challenging time for all nations. The United States Government takes with the utmost seriousness the need to limit the spread of COVID-19. To enter Curaçao, all personnel will be held to strict medical standards including appropriate screening, masks, and restricted movement on the island for the first 14 days. The U.S. Forward Operating Location in coordination with the Government of Curaçao will ensure close monitoring and robust prevention measures (including social distancing) for all U.S. personnel throughout their stay.
2020 marks twenty years since the establishment of the U.S. Forward Operating Location on Curaçao. The United States expresses its gratitude to the people and Government of Curaçao for their support of this mission and our ongoing partnership in assisting international efforts to combat global narcotics trafficking.