Cutter Hamilton Returns Home From Successful Drug Patrol

SAN DIEGO – The Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton is scheduled to return to its homeport at Naval Base San Diego, Thursday, Sept. 30, following a 76-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific that resulted in the interdiction of four suspected narcotics smuggling vessels.

Coast Guard Cutter HamiltonDuring Hamilton’s deployment, the crew and embarked aviation detachment routinely deployed cutter small-boats and the embarked helicopter. The crew also employed fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft to detect, pursue and successfully interdict suspected narcotics traffickers.

These efforts led to the detention of two go-fast vessel crews who were subsequently transferred for prosecution in the United States. From these two vessels, Hamilton prevented more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana and more than1,600 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value in excess of 26 million dollars, from reaching the United States.

The crew enhanced key international partnerships through combined operations with Panamanian forces, leading to the interdiction of two additional suspect vessels confirmed to be carrying contraband.

Hamilton also conducted three fueling-at-sea evolutions, enabling the cutter to remain on patrol for extended periods, and increased the overall effectiveness of U.S. and international counter-drug operations.

Crewmembers also volunteered for a local community project during a port call in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Crewmembers painted a retirement center for the poor in a community relations event sponsored by the local chapter of the Navy League.

Commissioned in 1967, Hamilton is the first of 12 high endurance cutters. Its missions include maritime safety and security, fisheries enforcement, and migrant and counter-narcotics interdiction.

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