The crew of the USCGC Northland (WMEC 904) returned to their homeport in Portsmouth, Monday following a 59-day Caribbean Sea patrol.
In support of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District and Operation Vigilant Sentry under Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast, Northland’s crew conducted migrant interdiction, law enforcement and humanitarian operations, collaborating with numerous Coast Guard assets and Department of Homeland Security boats and aircraft to detect, deter and intercept unsafe and illegal ventures bound for the United States.
During the deployment, Northland’s crew primarily patrolled the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti, maintaining a U.S. presence while serving as a deterrent to irregular maritime migration events occurring because of continued instability in Haiti.
In October, Northland was diverted to patrol near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at the request of the government of Haiti and in close coordination with the U.S. Department of State, as a clear sign of U.S. resolve in support of Haiti and its people, and to rendezvous with the Haitian Coast Guard for training in the area.
Northland also supported counterdrug operations in the region by working with other Coast Guard units and the U.S. Navy, offloading approximately 5,363 pounds of cocaine worth more than $101 million and transferring 11 suspected smugglers Friday in Port Everglades, Florida. The drugs came from five different interdictions in the Caribbean Sea.
“I am extremely proud of the adaptability, ingenuity and determination demonstrated by this remarkable crew on a daily basis,” said Cmdr. Andrew B. Dennelly, commanding officer of Northland. “Our crew showed day in and day out that we are always ready to deliver exceptional service to the nation, whether it be responding to unsafe and illegal ventures by migrants or assisting in counterdrug operations. Like any deployment, this patrol came with its own challenges — responding to an international crisis, last minute changes in scheduling and harsh weather and sea-states. Through it all, our crew promoted safety and security at sea and demonstrated why the Coast Guard is the preferred maritime partner.”
Northland is a 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter. Its missions include law enforcement, search and rescue, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement, migrant interdiction, homeland security and defense operations, international training and humanitarian operations. Northland patrols the offshore waters from Maine to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.