ALAMEDA, Calif. – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton returned to Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., after a 75-day Joint Interagency Task Force South counter drug patrol on Sunday to reunite with family members and loved ones.
Stratton’s crew disrupted the movement of more than 22,000 pounds of cocaine from drug smuggling vessels and offloaded a total of 11,000 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of nearly $170 million in San Diego Jan. 7.
In addition to the counter narcotics mission, the crew provided assistance to two U.S. citizens aboard the sailing vessel “Wind Cutter.” The Rescue and Assistance team provided food, water, communication equipment charging, technical advice and medical treatment for the master. Stratton also conducted maritime surveillance, international partner building, and community outreach. While on patrol, the crew leveraged the cutter’s multi-mission capabilities to provide greater stability throughout the Western Hemisphere and protect U.S. borders.
While in Golfito, Costa Rica, Stratton worked alongside the Costa Rican Coast Guard (Guardacostas) to conduct volunteer outreach to include painting and landscaping a local elementary school followed by a friendly soccer match with their fellow Guardacostas.
Stratton also hosted a ship rider from Fuerza Especial Naval (FEN), or Guatemalan Navy Special Forces. The embarked ship rider served as part of the ship’s boarding team for law enforcement operations, expanding the cutter’s jurisdictional capabilities through bilateral agreements held between the partnering nations.
Coast Guard Cutter Stratton is a 418 foot national security cutter. Stratton is the third of eight planned National Security Cutters which are capable of extended, worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and defense missions. Cutters like Stratton routinely conduct operations from South America to the Arctic where their unmatched combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct counter-narcotics, homeland security, alien migrant interdiction operations, domestic fisheries protection, search and rescue, and other Coast Guard missions at great distances from shore keeping threats far from the U.S. mainland.