The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) and crew returned to the cutter’s homeport in Astoria Thursday after a 48-day patrol of the California coast.
The 54-year-old cutter and crew conducted drug and migrant interdiction, living marine resource protection, and search and rescue operations along the U.S.-Mexico maritime border.
The Steadfast crew coordinated with Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard aircraft and Mexican Navy vessels to interdict three boats suspected of attempting to illegally transport migrants into the United States, resulting in the safe recovery and repatriation of 75 people.
Additionally, the crew boarded 23 U.S. vessels operating in the area and participated in a multi-asset search operation following a flare sighting.
“This was a challenging yet successful patrol for the crew of Steadfast, highlighting the important interagency effort required to secure our maritime borders,” said Cmdr. Craig Allen, commanding officer of the Steadfast. “It was rewarding to work alongside our many partners during the patrol, including Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, and both Mexican and U.S. Navy assets.”
The Steadfast’s permanent crew makeup is 63 enlisted personnel and 12 officers. To aid in this patrol, the permanent party welcomed multiple temporary duty members from across the nation, including: Petty Officer 1st Class Bradley Kwasny and Petty Officer 2nd Class Christian Matranca, both from Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco; Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Holroyd from Training Center Yorktown,Virginia; and Lt. Ryan Guinee from the Surface Forces Logistic Center – Patrol Boat Product Line in Seattle.
“We had a top-notch team on this patrol, and I’m especially proud of them for overcoming some difficult equipment casualties that were necessary to keep the 54-year-old cutter mission capable,” Allen said. “The crew achieved noteworthy results due to superb skill and professionalism. We’re also thankful to the men and women at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles for the excellent support they provided during multiple port visits.”
Commissioned in 1968, the Steadfast is a 210-foot Reliance Class Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Astoria and routinely deploys in support of counter-drug, migrant interdiction, fisheries, and search and rescue and homeland security missions.