The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) returned to their homeport Friday following a combined 105-day deployment to Alaska and their biannual shipboard training off the coast of San Diego.
Stratton’s crew, along with an embarked MH-65 helicopter aircrew from Air Station Kodiak, patrolled the Bering Sea up to the Arctic’s ice edge. While deployed, they conducted two search and rescue missions preserving lives and protecting property from peril in the Bering Sea.
The crews, aided with the support of the ship’s unmanned aircraft system, patrolled the region safeguarding Alaska’s multi-billion dollar fishing industry by conducting 15 fisheries law enforcement boardings, ensuring compliance with maritime laws and regulations, and protecting the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone by patrolling the maritime boundary line to prevent the illegal harvesting of U.S. fish stocks.
In addition to conducting multiple operations while deployed, the crew of the Stratton also collected vital information that will help the Coast Guard shape future deployments, uphold U.S. sovereignty and exercise leadership through effective presence in the Arctic.
Following their Alaskan patrol, Stratton hosted a change of command ceremony while anchored in the San Francisco Bay. Capt. Stephen Adler relieved Capt. Bob Little as Stratton’s commanding officer during the at-sea ceremony.
Before returning home, Stratton completed a biannual shipboard training cycle off the coast of San Diego. Over the course of seventeen training days, Stratton’s crew demonstrated their knowledge and skills by completing nearly 200 drills in the areas of damage control, navigation, seamanship, naval warfare, communications, medical response, engineering casualties, and force protection. The crew’s efforts resulted in an average drill score of 97 percent, demonstrating excellence in all warfare areas.
“I’m extremely proud of this crew and all they have accomplished,” said Adler, commanding officer of the Stratton. “There is a new wave of capabilities designed to match the growing importance of U.S. presence in the Arctic. The crew pressed into this growing mission space with incredible resolve. Harsh Arctic conditions and the ongoing global pandemic regularly tested our mettle, but this crew delivered.”
Stratton’s crew also relieved the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro (WHEC 724), the Coast Guard’s last 378-foot high endurance cutter, as they made their final patrol prior to being decommissioned April 24, 2021.
The Stratton is one of four 418-foot national security cutters homeported in Alameda. National security cutters are capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and defense missions and routinely conduct operations from South America to the Arctic. National security cutter’s combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct vital strategic missions across the globe.