PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive returned to its homeport of Pascagoula after a 59-day deployment in the eastern Caribbean Sea, Thursday.
The Decisive crew was deployed to conduct counter-narcotics operations in support of Operation Unified Resolve and assisted the 7th Coast Guard District in illegal migration interdiction in the Straits of Florida.
The cutter crew interdicted a 15-foot rustic vessel with 12 Cuban migrants southwest of Key West, Fla., Oct. 18. The crew arrived on scene and embarked the 12 Cuban migrants who were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk and then to the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island for repatriation back to Cuba.
The Decisive crew assisted with the transfer of an estimated $45 million of illicit contraband seized by the Coast Guard Cutters Nantucket and Key Largo in St. Petersburg, Fla., before transiting to their homeport.
The cutter crew also conducted two search-and-rescue missions. The crew was diverted to rescue a four-man crew from the overdue 87-foot Panamanian-flagged coastal freighter Two Brothers 86 miles south of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, Oct. 18. The vessel was sighted by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft.
The vessel became disabled after a fire onboard resulting in the crew drifting for two days. The Two Brothers was towed by the cutter Decisive and later transferred to other cutters where the vessel was taken to Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
The Decisive crew also assisted in the search for a missing cruise ship passenger on Nov. 29. The crew searched more than 2,000 square miles for 36 hours in conjunction with Coast Guard aircrews with negative results.
Operation Unified Resolve is a Department of Homeland Security multi-agency law enforcement operation to support ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands being executed under the San Juan Regional Coordinating Mechanism/Caribbean Border Interagency Group. The initiative seeks to forward deploy additional Coast Guard resources and capabilities from the U.S., such as HC-130 Hercules and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews and additional Coast Guard cutters, to augment locally assigned federal resources and strengthen patrol efforts to deter, detect and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking in and around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Decisive is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter with a complement of 75 crewmembers. The cutter crew deploys 185-210 days a year and is responsible for maritime law enforcement, Homeland Security and search-and-rescue missions in the Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida and Caribbean Sea.