Coast Guard Cutter Northland returns to Portsmouth, VA

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Northland, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, poses for a photo with seized cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Sept. 15, 2017. The Northland crew and other Coast Guard cutter crews seized and transported over 8,600 kilograms of cocaine, a seizure worth an estimated $286 million. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jordan Groff/Released)

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Northland, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, poses for a photo with seized cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Sept. 15, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jordan Groff/Released)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard Cutter Northland crew returned to Portsmouth Sunday following a 79-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

The Northland crew conducted counterdrug operations in the Eastern Pacific and responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys.

The crew was involved in the interdiction and transfer of more than 8,600 kilograms of cocaine, a seizure worth an estimated $286 million.

After navigating through the locks of the Panama Canal twice, the Northland crew headed to the Florida Keys to conduct relief missions in response to Hurricane Irma. The Northland’s crew was the first Coast Guard crew on scene and conducted damage assessment and search and rescue operations for four days.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew with Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) in Jacksonville, Florida, aided the Northland crew in interdicting the illegal narcotics and conducting hurricane relief missions.

“The crew continues to impress me with their professionalism and dedication to the mission,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Marc Brandt, commanding officer of the Northland. “Even after a long and successful patrol in the Eastern Pacific, they fought to help those in need. The crew’s response to Hurricane Irma is just one example of the resiliency of our Coast Guard men and women when times are tough.”

The Northland is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth. The Northland’s crew executes maritime law enforcement, homeland security missions and search and rescue operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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