Coast Guard cutter returns to New England homeport

BOSTON – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma has returned home to Kittery, Maine after a 10-week patrol in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

The 270-foot cutter departed New England in mid January and transited to Mayport, Fla., where the crew conducted helicopter standardization training and evaluations. They received high scores, allowing them to qualify new personnel for key flight operations positions. Additionally, they completed use-of-force training in anticipation of continuing south on a counter-narcotics mission.

For the next eight weeks they conducted law enforcement patrols in the Caribbean in search of drug running boats and other suspicious vessels. They conducted a lengthy four-day boarding of a suspected fishing vessel. Tahoma’s boarding team completed a comprehensive search of the boat before transferring custody to another law enforcement unit.

“The crew’s training during the trip was invaluable,” said Cmdr. Keith A. Willis. Willis, Tahoma’s commanding officer, said the cutter routinely deploys to the Caribbean Sea to conduct law enforcement, search and rescue, humanitarian, and national defense missions. “With our wide range of missions comes the need for constant readiness,” he said.

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