The Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour returned home on Sept. 26, following a 32-day patrol.
The crew disrupted illegal narcotics smuggling, seizing more than 5,000 pounds of cocaine that was offloaded in San Diego, Friday. The drugs, worth an estimated $96 million, were seized in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.
“The crew excelled during this patrol; their hard work and skill was apparent and allowed the cutter to weather a hurricane, conduct international engagements, and stop a vessel carrying approximately two metric tons of cocaine, all while in a 154-foot ship, 1,800 nautical miles and two time zones from home,” said Lt. Drew Ferraro, commanding officer of the Rednour.
During the Rednour’s deployment, the crew participated in a passing exercise with the Monte Albán, an Armada de México vessel, off the coast of Mexico.
“This deployment tested crew endurance and provided the same level of logistics challenges normally faced by much larger ships, but the Rednour crew navigated each obstacle with their usual dedication, professionalism, and teamwork,” Ferraro said. “Thank you to our outstanding logistics and finance team, and the shore-side coordinators that made this patrol successful. Lastly, thank you to the families and loved ones back home who supported us during this patrol and held down the home front during our absence.”
On April 1, 2020, U.S. Southern Command increased counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs. Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.
The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions for these interdictions by United States Attorney’s Offices from the Middle District of Florida, the Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of California. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the Eleventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, CA. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Forrest Rednour is a 154-foot fast response cutter, commissioned in 2018 and homeported in San Pedro, California.