USS Rentz departs San Diego on anti-smuggling operation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Rentz departs San Diego on anti-smuggling operation

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego-based guided-missile frigate USS Rentz will put to sea Thursday for an independent deployment designed to stem the flow of drugs from Latin America into the United States.

The vessel had been scheduled to sail in April, but the departure was postponed because of automatic cuts in defense spending under sequestration, according to the Navy, which said the Rentz will take part in anti-smuggling operations in areas commanded by the Fourth Fleet and U.S. Southern Command.

"Rentz has a history of being involved in these types of operations, having deployed most recently to the U.S. Fourth Fleet in 2011 in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South," said Cmdr. Lance Lantier, the ship's skipper. "We are pleased to assist our brothers and sisters in the law enforcement community with stemming the flow of illicit narcotics from entering our shores."

A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team and Detachment 5 of the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49, based at Naval Air Station North Island, will deploy with the vessel.

The Rentz will also participate in an annual maritime exercise in September with naval forces from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom and Canada in the Southern Caribbean Sea off the coast of Colombia.

The Rentz is named after Chaplain George Rentz, who died in 1942 after he gave his life jacket to a wounded sailor after their ship, the cruiser USS Houston, was sunk in the Java Sea.

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