Joined: Sep 16, 2006 Posts: 736 Location: North England
Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:32 am Post subject: Black Hawk delivery to aid Mexican narcotic crack-down
November 30, 2010
The US is kitting out Mexico’s Federal Police Force (SSP) for the fight against drug cartels, the Department of State announcing on 24 November the delivery of three Black Hawk helicopters to the organisation.
The UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters were purchased to aid SSP law enforcement personnel in its mission to target illicit activities.
Carlos Pascual, US Ambassador to Mexico, said at the delivery ceremony: ‘Despite the significant threat transnational organised crimes pose to public security, we also have tools in our arsenal to fight back. Our bilateral relationship, while intangible, is one such tool. These helicopters are another.’
The Black Hawks are said to compliment the current SSP fleet, allowing for rapid response and increased mobility, and providing access to remote and hard-to-reach regions.
The aircraft have been purchased under the Merida Initiative – a drug-reduction cooperation programme between the US and other governments such as Mexico. The Black Hawk is the first Merida Initiative aviation delivery to the SSP, and is valued at $64 million.
Through this programme, the US has delivered more than $130 million in training and equipment, and plans to deliver an additional $495 million by the end of next year.
As well as the delivery of the three Black Hawks, five Bell 412 helicopters were delivered to SEDENA (the Mexican Ministry of National Defence) in December 2009, and according to the US embassy, it is intended that one CASA 235 aircraft will be delivered to the navy.
By Beth Stevenson, London _________________ R22 2.6 h/r wanting more, a hell of a lot more
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