DVIDS – News – USCCC Northland returns home after 80-day patrol in Eastern Pacific and offloading drugs in Miami

PORTSMOUTH, Va .– USCGC Northland (WMEC 904) returned to Portsmouth on Monday, following an 80-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the Eleventh District Guard and Task Force interagency joint South.

The Northland’s crew patrolled the eastern Pacific on counter-drug operations with the support of an aviation detachment from the U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Ban Tactical Squadron in command of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. In addition to the Northland HITRON Detachment, US Navy, Customs and Border Protection aircraft crews provided critical aerial surveillance and reconnaissance for the cutter throughout the patrol.

During the patrol, Northland managed to ban several ships suspected of drug trafficking. On September 8, the cutter entered the US Coast Guard base in Miami Beach and unloaded 7,833 pounds of cocaine with an estimated market value of $ 148 million. The cutter crew also transferred three suspected drug traffickers to Seventh District Coast Guard and US Drug Enforcement Administration personnel, marking the culmination of a successful interagency joint effort in the eastern Pacific.

In addition to successfully intercepting suspected drug trafficking vessels, Northland maintained a maritime assistance presence in the region throughout the patrol. On August 11, the Eleventh Coast Guard District relayed an alert from the Costa Rica Maritime Rescue Coordination Center that the fishing vessel Baula X was on fire with three trapped sailors on board. On August 18, Northland launched the crew of the Dolphin in search of the boat. After successfully locating the burning fishing boat, the helicopter crew guided the Northland small craft team to the location. They safely rescued the three fishermen and delivered them to the nearby Avra ​​GR freighter, participating in the Mutual Assistance Automated Vessel Rescue Program.

When not actively pursuing drug traffickers or rescuing fishermen, Northland maintained a regular training program for new and old crew members on navigation, engineering and nautical activities. Training for emergencies and routine operations is essential to maintaining the maximum effectiveness of the Northland mission and is in line with the Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus – Always Ready.

“During this patrol, our crew demonstrated a tremendous ability to adapt to respond to equipment malfunctions, schedule changes, problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a host of challenges. other challenges encountered. Throughout it all, the crew demonstrated extraordinary determination and teamwork, resulting in multiple mission accomplishments. I am extremely proud of the efforts of Northland, our Carrier Aviation Detachment and all the support elements that worked to ensure our safety and success throughout the process, ”said Cmdr. Patricia M. Bennett, Commander of Northland.

On April 1, 2020, the United States Southern Command stepped up its counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs. Numerous US agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security have cooperated in the fight against transnational organized crime. Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations.

Tackling drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea requires a unity of effort in all phases, from detection, surveillance and prohibitions to criminal prosecution for those bans by the offices of the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, the Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of California. The law enforcement phase of anti-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the Eleventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda. The bans, including the boardings themselves, are directed and conducted by members of the US Coast Guard.

The USCGC Northland is a 270 foot Famous Class medium endurance cutter based in Portsmouth. The crew deploys regularly in support of drug control, migrant interdiction, fishing, search and rescue and homeland security missions.

-USCG-

Date taken: 09.13.2021
Date posted: 09.15.2021 12:43
Story ID: 405312
Site: PORTSMOUTH, Virginia, United States
Hometown: PORTSMOUTH, Virginia, United States

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