Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returns to homeport following 9-week patrol

1st Coast Guard District News
BOSTON — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returned to their homeport at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine on Monday, following a nine-week patrol in the Caribbean Sea supporting the Joint Interagency Task Force-South.

During the deployment, the 75-member crew of the Reliance was primarily responsible for conducting counter drug operations in support of U.S. and international law. The Reliance sailed with an aviation detachment from the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida, which greatly increased the Reliance’s ability to detect and interdict suspected smugglers.

A Coast Guard helicopter from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron in Jacksonville, Fla., lands aboard Coast Guard Cutter Reliance during operations in the Caribbean Sea. The helicopter and cutter crews worked together in detecting and interdicting suspected smugglers in the Western Caribbean. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Gagnon)

A helicopter from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron lands aboard Coast Guard Cutter Reliance during operations in the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Gagnon)

The Reliance worked directly with federal and international partners at JIATF-S and the Coast Guard Seventh District to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Caribbean Basin. The Reliance’s efforts directly contributed to the prevention of 14 metric tons of contraband from reaching American shores.

During the reliance’s 63-day deployment, the cutter traveled over 6,000 miles, conducted three law enforcement boardings and conducted more than 100 helicopter launch and recovery evolutions while operating throughout the Western Caribbean.

“Two months out at sea is tough on anyone, but on the Reliance we always pulled through,” said Seaman Sebastian Alvarez, a Reliance deck force member and Spanish translator. “We had our literal ups and downs, but always stayed on point.”

After a long, successful patrol, the Reliance’s crew is happy to return home to their loved ones in time for the holiday season.

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