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HITRON 10 Founding Members: James Loy, Coast Guard (Ret.)
PORTSMOUTH, VA, UNITED STATES
Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron operations started as an experiment in 1998 to halt the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. Drug trafficking organizations primarily used “go-fast” boats, high-speed smuggling vessels capable of traveling over twice the speed of Coast Guard cutters. The Coast Guard needed a way to counter the threat.
In late 1998, six Coast Guard pilots and four enlisted aircrew developed tactics and procedures to utilize armed helicopters operating aboard Coast Guard cutters to answer the call.
HITRON helicopters operate in known smuggling vectors and rely on expertly trained aircrews and precision marksmen to disable go-fast drug smuggling vessels in the event suspects refuse to comply with verbal and visual warnings for law enforcement boardings in accordance with international maritime law.
In this documentary series, we track down the founding members, pioneers, and stakeholders who have played an important part in HITRON’s history. In this video, we sat down with James Loy Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.) and asked him to talk about his experience as the Coast Guard Commandant as #HITRON was being stood up.
Film Credits: Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Stanton
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area
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