JIATFS History


30+ Years of Excellence: 1989-present

Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) was started on February 22, 1989, under President Ronald Reagan’s administration as part of its anti-drug enforcement policy. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Defense was tasked to establish a joint task force (JTF) to conduct detection and monitoring operations to support law enforcement disruptions of cocaine and marijuana trafficking in the Caribbean, thereby preventing these drugs from reaching the United States.

The joint interagency task force model was established in 1994 to strengthen collaborations among federal and international partners. As a result, the task force in Key West – then known as JTF-4 – was renamed JIATF East. JIATF South, which was originally located in Panamá, was merged into JIATF East in Key West in 1999.

The name was changed to Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS) in 2003.