The Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC 618) and crew returned to their homeport Friday after a 65-day patrol in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central and South America.
Coast Guard cutters operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean often collaborate to prevent and deter Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) from successfully transporting narcotics destined for the United States.
During this patrol, the Active’s crew rendezvoused with Coast Guard Cutters Steadfast (WMEC 623) and Bertholf (WMSL 750) to conduct joint operations. Active’s crew also partnered with maritime patrol aircrews from Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) who aid in the detection of ships suspected of drug smuggling.
Crewmembers aboard Active transited more than 10,000 nautical miles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the southern hemisphere during the patrol. The crew sighted an abundance of marine wildlife throughout the patrol, and rescued sea turtles trapped in fishing gear.
The Active’s crew departed Port Angeles September 1 and transited to San Diego for a logistics stop. While in San Diego, the crew completed unscheduled repairs, enabling the Active to continue its southbound journey along the coast of Mexico and Central America in pursuit of illegal drug smuggling vessels.
“The Active crew performed superbly in every assigned mission,” said Cmdr. Brian Tesson, commanding officer of the Active. “They were presented with various challenges from engineering casualties to abundant tropical weather systems. This crew consistently stepped up with a can-do attitude, ingenuity, and fortitude in the face of adversity, defining what it means to work aboard the ‘Li’l Tough Guy.’ Our success as a team is due in no small part to the families and support network at home who enable us to focus on the mission; for them I am most grateful.”
The Active and other Coast Guard cutters frequently patrol this 42-million square mile region with the assistance of JIATF-S to interdict and disrupt drug shipments, thereby reducing the flow of drugs and disrupting the TCOs that traffic them. JIATF-S is a multiagency organization that coordinates with international partners in detecting and monitoring illicit narcotics trafficking and other organized crime flowing from Latin America to the United States.
The Active, a 57-year-old, 210-foot medium endurance cutter nicknamed “Li’l Tough Guy” is equipped with two deployable small boats and a flight deck capable of conducting underway flight operations with Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews.