Coast Guard Cutter Waesche returns home following 109-day deployment

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard News
ALAMEDA, Calif, — The U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche returned from a 109-day deployment in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Artic Ocean to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., to reunite with loved ones for the holidays, Friday, November 29, 2013.

Leilani Schweitzer, wife of Petty Officer Class 1st Class James Schweitzer assigned to Cutter Waesche, said she waited for her husband to come home to have Thanksgiving dinner.

“I’m so excited to see him after he was underway for a couple months,” said Schweitzer. “I couldn’t have Thanksgiving dinner without him,”

Petty Officer 1st Class John Savasta, assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, hugs his daughter at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., Friday, November 29, 2013. The Waesche's crew returned from a 109-day deployment in Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Artic Ocean to its homeport at Coast Guard Island to reunite with loved ones for the holidays. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

Petty Officer 1st Class John Savasta, assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, hugs his daughter at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., Friday, November 29, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

Petty Officer 2nd Class Miguel Espinosa wife said, “I am so proud of my husband and the members he works with. I am so thankful for their service to our country.”

Waesche’s crew conducted a broad range of operations including maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and community outreach.

While underway, the crew was on scene for the opening of the red king crab fishing season to help ensure the safety and security of fishermen conducting operations in the Bering Sea. The crew also enforced fisheries laws and regulations to ensure sustainable fishing is practiced in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.

The crew responded to five search and rescue cases including a removal of 14 mariners from a disabled fishing vessel, Alaska Mist some 160 nautical miles northeast of Dutch Harbor in mid-November.

In Unalaska, Alaska, the crew participated in helping with maintenance and upkeep at a high school and several other community relation projects.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lucus Hurley said he was glad to be home for the holidays, especially after a successful deployment.

“It’s a wonderful feeling coming home and seeing my family,” said Hurley.

The Commanding Officer of the Waesche, Capt. John McKinley, said he was incredibly proud and honored to serve alongside his Waesche shipmates.

“They performed well beyond my expectations in many different Coast Guard mission areas in one of the harshest maritime environments,” McKinley said. “This is an incredible ship and crew.”

The Waesche is a 418-foot National Security Cutter, a range of 12,000 nautical miles and a permanent crew of 120. Waesche is named after Coast Guard Adm. Russell R. Waesche who served as a Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1936 to 1945.

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