ASTORIA, Ore. – The Coast Guard Cutter Alert returned Monday following a three month trip that stretched from the waters of Mexico to Canada.
During their deployment the cutter’s crew conducted counter narcotic and living marine resources patrols offshore of Southern California. Following these patrols, the crew participated in an international engagement event in Ensenada, Mexico, with the Mexican Armada, which included joint damage control training, law enforcement demonstration, and an evening dinner onboard Alert.
The final weeks of the deployment took place in Seattle and Everett, Wash., where crewmembers tested their response to different incidents such as damage control, medical response, information warfare, and engineering casualties during a comprehensive training and evaluation program called Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA). The crew excelled in their evaluations, achieving what is known as a “clean-sweep,” meaning each training team averaged over 90% on their exercises.
For the transit back to Astoria, Alert invited family members and friends to participate in a “Tiger Cruise.” Tiger cruises are a tradition introduced by the Navy, which allow friends and family to ride along for a day or two and see what their loved-ones do during a regular deployment. They are invited to witness different operations underway, such as small boat operations or damage control efforts, as well as integrate with the command and crew, an opportunity that is seldom offered onboard Coast Guard Cutters.
This particular Tiger Cruise really allowed the “tigers” to see their family and friends in action, as Alert was diverted to assist a disabled fishing vessel, delaying their initial arrival time in Astoria by 15 hours. The vessel was towed back to Astoria, where a motor life boat from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment took over, and safely assisted them the rest of the way to the pier. Alert was greeted by more friends and family on the 17th Street Pier upon their arrival.
Medium endurance cutters like the Alert are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security missions at sea.