The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to their home port in Pensacola, Florida on Friday after a 65-day Caribbean Sea patrol.
During the patrol, Diligence’s crew conducted migrant interdiction operations in support of Operation Southeast Watch, in an interagency effort to detect and deter vessels engaged in illegal maritime migration.
Partnering with six other Coast Guard cutters and three Coast Guard aircraft, Diligence interdicted, cared for, and repatriated 127 migrants who departed from Haiti and Cuba. Additionally, Diligence’s crew worked with the cutter Confidence to safely escort one overloaded vessel engaged in an illegal migrant venture, ensuring the safety of more than 500 people.
The Diligence crew also completed the Coast Guard’s biennial shipboard training assessment, Tailored Ships Training Accountability (TSTA), at Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, Florida. TSTA is a three-week training period in which a team of evaluators assess the crew’s mission readiness and ability to respond to shipboard emergencies and execute missions. Diligence achieved a 98% drill average during weapons, command and control, damage control, engineering, navigation, and seamanship evaluations.
“Throughout the deployment, Diligence’s crew exemplified the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty,” said Cmdr. Jared Trusz, Diligence’s commanding officer. “In response to a challenging mission, they supported national security objectives by deterring illegal maritime migration, while ensuring the safety of life-at-sea. The crew provided humanitarian care for those interdicted and treated all migrants with dignity and respect until we were able to safely return them to Haiti. I cannot thank Diligence’s crew enough for the hard work and sacrifices made during this patrol.”
Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Pensacola with 78 crewmembers. The cutter’s primary missions are counter drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, as well as search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.