The Mexican Navy created the Ixtoc-Alfa counter-terrorism base for the purpose of preventing terrorist attacks on the country's richest Gulf of Mexico oilfields. It was first opened on 22 December 2003.
The base is located on the Campeche Bank, a coastal shelf off the Yucatán Peninsula. The base currently has a MI-17 MBT helicopter, 90H Fast patrol Boats. A special group named ASIES also provides security for better coverage and quick response in case of sabotage or if there is an unidentified vessel in the area. The area is permanently patrolled by Sa'ar 4.5 class missile boat navy vessels. Grumman E-2 Hawkeye early-alert planes also add up to the task.