VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable returned home to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Tuesday following a 55-day counter-drug and migrant patrol through the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea.
During this patrol, Cutter Dependable conducted three separate international and inter-agency counter narcotics operations that resulted in the interdiction of approximately 325 kilograms of cocaine, 600 pounds of marijuana, and apprehension of 15 suspected drug smugglers.
The drugs seized represent a total wholesale value of more than $10.1 million.
Working jointly with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, other U.S. law enforcement officials, Royal Bahamian Defense Force, Royal Bahamian Police Force, and a Bahamian Drug Enforcement Unit, Dependable’s law enforcement teams boarded vessels found to be transporting illicit cargo.
In separate cases, Dependable worked with Coast Guard Sector Key West to interdict two vessels carrying 22 migrants attempting to enter the United States illegally.
“I’m very proud of our crew,” said Cmdr. Bob Little, Cutter Dependable’s commanding officer. “They overcame numerous challenges working with obsolete systems and conducting difficult maintenance and repairs to electronic and mechanical systems in order to keep our 48-year-old ship in the fight.”
Nearing its 48th anniversary serving America, Dependable and the other 26 aging medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by a new class of cutters.
The new Offshore Patrol Cutter will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners, superior to the cutters they replace. Equipped with modern sensors, the OPC will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.
The Dependable is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter with a crew of 76 that conducts homeland security missions in maritime safety, security and stewardship.