Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Returns From Successful Narcotics Patrol

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) will return to Astoria, Ore., Saturday from a successful 61-day counter narcotics deployment to the Eastern Pacific. The 77-person crew, including a five-person aviation detachment and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter participated in counter drug operations while working with the U.S. DEA and Department of Defense including the U.S. Navy, as well as Nicaraguan Naval Forces and the Costa Rican Coast Guard.

During the 11,000 nautical mile patrol, the Steadfast interdicted over 4.1 metric tons of cocaine from a self-propelled semi submersible vessel, the first of its kind to be stopped at sea by U.S. authorities. Steadfast also assisted with the custody and disposition of over 5.5 metric tons of cocaine and 11 suspected narcotic traffickers detained through joint efforts of U.S. forces.

The patrol began during San Francisco Fleet Week in early October, followed by law enforcement training and an annual ship/helicopter aviation training visit in San Diego.

Steadfast is a Reliance Class cutter, one of 14 in the Coast Guard fleet and one of only three based on the West Coast. It was commissioned in 1968 and has been homeported in Astoria since January 1994. The cutter earned the nickname “El Tiburon Blanco,” or “White Shark” from drug smugglers while based in St. Petersburg, Fla., for its notoriously effective law enforcement operations in the Caribbean. It was the first cutter to be awarded the gold marijuana leaf, indicating one million pounds of marijuana seized.

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3 Comments

  1. Stephen Dixon says:

    Way to go Coast Guard. Having a daughter who is on this cutter, I realize more than most the importance of the work, the mission, and the talent.
    Way to go!

  2. Hey, My name is Derek Kampsnider. My brother Daniel Kampsnider is a Coastie at the Astoria, Org. Dist. 13 and he is assigned to the Steadfast. I just wanted to say how proud I am to have him to look up to and what he is doing. I leave for Cape May June 9 2008 for basic training so I can start my career as a United States Coast Guard Member. Thank You Guys For Everything You Do!!

  3. cgnews says:

    Derek – thanks for stopping by. Best of luck in your basic training and your Coast Guard career. We hope you’ll check back in to keep up with whats going on around the Guard.