Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returns to homeport following $55 million drug bust

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Portsmouth-based Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returned home Friday following a 51-day counterdrug patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

The crew of the Tampa departed Portsmouth on Oct. 17.

Tampa’s patrol highlights include:

  • Seizing more than 2.5 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $55 million dollars and detaining three suspected drug smugglers
  • Participating in Operation Martillo
  • Embarking a helicopter and aircrew from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron from Jacksonville, Fla., increasing the law enforcement capabilities and range of the cutter.


The Coast Guard’s counterdrug patrols supported Operation Martillo, an international, interagency, counterdrug trafficking effort focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies.

The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa, along with the service’s 26 other medium endurance cutters, i slated to be replaced by a new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will have the endurance to operate more than 50 miles offshore to carry out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety missions. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interagency interoperability. Its advanced technical features include modern sensors and enhanced surveillance capabilities necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa crewman Seaman Daniel Moschitti is welcomed home by his 6-month-old daughter Ellie Rose and his wife Felicia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Base Portsmouth, Va. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa crewman Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Alexander lifts up his son, Spencer, at the ship's return to homeport, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Base Portsmouth, Va. The Tampa deployed for a 51-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa crewman Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Alexander lifts up his son, Spencer, at the ship’s return to homeport, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Base Portsmouth, Va. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa return home, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Base Portsmouth, Va. The Tampa was deployed for a 51-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returned home on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Coast Guard  Base Portsmouth, Va. The Tampa was deployed for a 51-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert

 

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