The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returned to homeport in Pensacola Saturday after a 36-day Caribbean Sea patrol.
During the patrol the Reliance crew performed counter-drug operations, in support of the U.S. Government’s Joint Interagency Task Force–South, and intercepted three vessels attempting to smuggle more than 3,300 pounds of cocaine and detained a total of nine suspected smugglers. Additionally, the cutter crew received more than 8,875 pounds of cocaine that were interdicted by other U.S. law enforcement agencies. The patrol was also critical in allowing Reliance’s crew to work on shipboard training, qualifications and proficiency to maintain operational readiness.
“I’m proud of my crew and what they were able to accomplish during our interdiction operations,” said Cmdr. Robert P. Hill, commanding office of the cutter Reliance. “We are essentially saving lives in a different way by keeping these illegal drugs out of our country.”
The U.S. Coast Guard works alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to dangerous and illegal maritime smuggling from Central and South America. Reliance supported these efforts by patrolling the Southwestern Caribbean Sea in an effort to detect and deter maritime drug smuggling in the region.
Reliance is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, which recently shifted its homeport from Kittery, Maine to Pensacola, Florida with a crew of 77. The cutter’s primary missions are counter drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.