Partnership With China Assists Opioid Crises
BY JOHN C. MARCARIO, Seapower Special Correspondent
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Navy is refocusing some of its drug interdiction efforts in the global Pacific, as attention to fentanyl and other opioids have become a national story.
Capt. Grant Jackson, Navy J3 Joint Interagency Task Force West director of operations and intelligence, said that China is the primary producer of fentanyl. He noted that some of the drug that gets into the United States comes across the southern border, but most it originates from China.
“With China, we have a great opportunity for corporation with this,” Jackson said during a panel discussion at the 2018 Sea-Air-Space Exposition.
The director said they’ve worked, and shared information with the Chinese a handful of times over the past year that have led to drug interdictions inside the country.
Continuing to build on that partnership, along with the expansion of information sharing, is something the Navy wants to work on in the years ahead.
“We are mostly a good news story with China. … We both have a common focus of maritime safety and security,” he said.
Fellow panelist, Gayle Von Eckartsberg, director Pacific Division Headquarters Marine Corps Plans, Policy and Operations, echoed Jackson’s comments on partnerships, noting that at any time the Marines have 35,000 troops deployed.
“The Marine Corps is a maritime force,” she said.