The crew of the USCGC Thetis (WMEC 910) returned to their homeport in Key West, Saturday following a 56-day Caribbean Sea deployment.
While underway in the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of operations and in support of Joint Interagency Task Force – South, Thetis conducted migrant interdiction operations.
Thetis patrolled the southern Florida Straits and Windward Passage, collaborating with numerous Coast Guard assets to detect, deter, and intercept vessels engaged in illegal maritime migration. In total, Thetis interdicted, cared for, and repatriated 198 Cuban and Haitian migrants in support of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District.
While transiting to the Windward Passage, Thetis received a report of a small, overcrowded vessel taking on water. Thetis’ crewmembers launched a small boat rescuing everyone onboard the vessel.
“This case highlights the humanitarian aspect of this mission and emphasizes the importance of the Coast Guard’s presence to ensure safety of life at sea,” said Cmdr. Gavin Garcia, commanding officer of Thetis. “I am extremely proud of our professional and compassionate team.”
Prior to patrol, Thetis successfully completed the Coast Guard’s biennial shipboard training assessment, known as the tailored ships training accountability, at Naval Station Mayport. For three weeks, a team of evaluators assessed the crew’s operational readiness through a series of drills to include weapons testing, command and control, damage control, engineering, navigation and seamanship skills. Thetis’ crew achieved a 98% average combined drill score.
Following the assessment, Thetis embarked an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron in Jacksonville. The HITRON aircrew performed a series of 40 day and night landings aboard Thetis to enhance proficiency among both assets’ crews.
Thetis is a 270-foot, Famous-class medium endurance cutter with a crew of 104. The cutter’s primary missions are counterdrug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.