Coast Guard Cutter Bear returns home

Coast Guard District 5 NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bear returned home to Base Support Unit Portsmouth, Thursday, following a 58-day deployment and a successful drug-bust in the Caribbean.

While deployed and operating with a multi-national force for a joint training exercise, the crew of the Bear was diverted to interdict and seize a speed boat carrying 4,355 pounds of cocaine. The Canadian warship HMCS Athabaskan also asssisted in the pursuit. The detainees were transferred to federal law enforcement officials at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the contraband was unloaded at Key West, Fla.

The Bear deployed in support of Panamanian Exercise 2011. The exercise, dubbed PANAMAX 2011, was hosted by the Panamanian government and included forces from 17 countries deployed on both sides of the Panama Canal. The Bear, on the Caribbean side, worked closely with the Athabaskan and the Mexican warship ARM Oaxaca. The two weeks of underway exercises included command and control exercises, patrolling the approaches to the canal, helicopters maneuvers, steaming in formation, and conducting multiple boardings on suspect vessels.

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