US Coast Guard Commandant visits FOL Manta
By Capt. Ashley Norris, 478th Expeditionary Operations Squadron
/ Published April 03, 2008
FORWARD OPERATING LOCATION MANTA, Ecuador -- The Commandant of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen received a tour of Forward Operating Location Manta, Ecuador today to look at the facilities. Adm. Allen visited FOL Manta because it is a key location for counterdrug operations and he wanted to get a feel for the flying operations. Adm. Allen and his contingent, Rear Adm. David Pekoske, Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Operations and Rear Adm. Joseph Nimmich, Director of the Joint Interagency Task Force South were extremely impressed with the high quality and conditions of the facilities.
As Chairman of the Interdiction Committee, Adm. Allen reports to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. The principal purpose of ONDCP is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for the Nation's drug control program and one of their goals is to reduce drug trafficking.
FOL Manta is located on the coast of Ecuador and conducts aerial detection, monitoring, tracking and control of illegal narcotics trafficking. Since January 1, 2008 over 224 flying mission have flown out of FOL Manta resulting in 75 arrests, the capture of 53 metric tons of cocaine worth over $1.052 billion and the capture of 83 pounds of heroin with a street value of more than $3.3 million. In 2007 over 208 metric tons of cocaine, worth over $4.2 billion was captured as a direct result of flying operations conducted out of FOL Manta.