Lt. Col. Ziggy Schoepf

Lt. Col. Ziggy Schoepf is an Air Force liaison on the Joint International Task Force South, a multi-agency, international alliance whose mission is to cover 42 million square miles of territory primarily in Central and South America to stem the flow of illegal drugs and to disrupt and dismantle sophisticated narco-trafficking networks.

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One of the cool things about JIATF here is your FBI liaison element. So when we are planning our mission or executing our mission and we have a question, then we can go to the law enforcement team here and say, find case—this case in this area, what information do you have?  What are you expecting us to find?  Can you tell us more behind it?

And then they will talk to the case agent who is working directly with the source.  So it’s a very short linkage between raw information and airplane flying on it.  And you don’t get that anywhere else.  And then for us, we fly long distances and all aircraft are limited by fuel.  So we’re not going to be around all day and all night. So when we get into an area, we have to hurry up and find it.  We’ve got to track it while a ship comes over to that area. 

That’s a key piece is your liaison element from the FBI brings here.  And everybody else, the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, everybody brings their liaisons here, the other countries. And this is where that interaction takes place is one of the great values of JIATF South.

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