Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returns home after successful patrol

Coast Guard District 5 NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa is scheduled to return to their homeport of Portsmouth, Sunday at noon, following a 52-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

During the deployment, the crew aboard the Tampa, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter, worked alongside government agencies to prevent $138.6 million worth of illegal drugs from entering the United States.

The crew worked with other Coast Guard high and medium endurance cutters and the USS Oak Hill, a 610-foot Harper’s Ferry class dock loading ship homeported in Little Creek, during the deployment.

The Tampa embarked a helicopter crew from the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron in Jacksonville, Fla., to increase the cutter’s law enforcement capability by allowing the simultaneous deployment of both the helicopter and the cutter’s small boat to monitor high-threat drug trafficking.

The crew apprehended people aboard a boat smuggling approximately 3,000 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $79 million.

The Tampa will return to Portsmouth from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they completed the transfer of an additional 2,250 kilograms of cocaine. The additional cocaine, worth $59.6 million, was intercepted by the Oak Hill and the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C.

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