Coast Guard Cutter Campbell’s crew returned home to Newport, Rhode Island, Thursday, following an 80-day, multi-mission patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in support of the Coast Guard Seventh District’s Operation Southeast Watch and the U.S. Navy’s Composite Training Unit Exercise.
Amidst the largest surge in maritime migration in nearly two decades, Campbell patrolled the Windward Pass and South Florida Straits, tasked with the disruption and interdiction of dangerous and illegal migrant ventures departing from Haiti and Cuba.
On April 10, within hours of entering the South Florida Straits, Campbell’s crew intercepted a wooden sail freighter with 67 Haitians aboard. The group, which included minors as young as five-months-old, departed the north coast of Haiti nearly a week prior, and ran dangerously short on food, water, baby formula, and other essential supplies. The crew embarked the distressed migrants, providing care and medical attention before transferring the case to the Royal Bahamian Defense Force.
Throughout April and May, Campbell interdicted five additional migrant vessels that departed from Haiti and Cuba. In one notable case, Campbell interdicted a 50-foot, power-driven vessel carrying 212 Haitians south of Turks and Caicos. In total, Campbell’s crew rescued and cared for 528 Haitians and 21 Cubans during the patrol.
In June, Campbell shifted focus and joined a U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group for COMPTUEX, a joint training mission off the North Carolina and Florida coasts. The training exercise, which serves as the Navy’s capstone prior to overseas deployment, included live-fire weapons exercises, formation steaming, and multi-day at-sea combat simulations.
The Campbell, a 270-foot Cutter with a crew complement of 100, is homeported in Newport, Rhode Island. The crew’s missions include search and rescue operations, counter-drug, migrant interdiction and living marine resources protection.