The crew of USCGC Reliance (WMEC 615) returned to homeport in Pensacola last week after a 63-day Caribbean Sea patrol.
The Reliance crew supported the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District throughout their patrol, aiding in missions to interdict and disrupt the flow of illegal drugs and migrant trafficking while supporting national security and strengthening relationships with regional partners throughout the Caribbean.
“I am extremely proud of our crew for their adaptability and professionalism throughout the patrol. Regardless of the mission set, whether that was responding immediately to the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti by conducting critical port assessments or stopping the flow of illegal narcotics, Reliance was always ready to respond to the needs of our Service and our Nation,” said Cmdr. Robert Hill, commanding officer.
Significantly, the crew supported the relief efforts in response to the earthquake in Haiti in August, conducting two separate port assessments on Haitian ports to ensure the harbors were safe for vessels to deliver vital aid and assistance to the region following the disaster.
During the patrol, Reliance’s crew intercepted one vessel attempting to smuggle approximately 1,132 lbs. of cocaine and detained a total of four suspected smugglers. Additionally, Reliance received more than 4,291 lbs. of cocaine, ten suspected smugglers, and 96 migrants from other U.S. Coast Guard cutters operating in the region.
The crew also rescued 50 Dominican nationals from an unseaworthy vessel off the coast of Puerto Rico and repatriated 158 migrants to the Dominican Republic’s navy.
The 63-day patrol was critical in allowing the cutter crew to work on shipboard training, qualifications, and proficiency to maintain operational readiness. This training enabled Reliance’s team to complete a five-day major shipboard training exercise in Mayport, which tested their readiness in all aspects of damage control, seamanship, and navigational procedures.
Reliance is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Pensacola with a crew of 71. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.