Portsmouth-based crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba to return from patrol Sunday

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of the Portsmouth-based Coast Guard Cutter Forward is scheduled to return to homeport on Sunday following a 63-day patrol aboard Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba in support of Operation Unified Resolve.

The combined efforts of Forward’s crew and its interagency partners resulted in the interdiction and repatriation of more than 80 total migrants from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The migrants were recovered from their unseaworthy boats and kept safe from the perils of the sea.

Forward’s crew deployed on the Escanaba while the Forward undergoes scheduled maintenance at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore. After cutter Escanaba returns to Portsmouth, the ship will deploy again with its original crew from Boston.

A Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba crew aboard a small boat conducts operations with the crew aboard The Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus near the coast of Puerto Rico March 2, 2014. The Escanaba crew spent 63-days on patrol  in support of Operation Unified Resolve. U.S. Coast Guard ohoto.

A Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba crew aboard a small boat conducts operations with the crew aboard The Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus near the coast of Puerto Rico March 2, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard ohoto.

Operation Unified Resolve is a counter-narcotic and alien migrant interdiction operation in the Caribbean region. The operation complements Operation Caribbean Guard, a coordinated effort between the United States Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, and other commonwealth and territorial law enforcement agencies to combat illicit maritime trafficking to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The 27-year-old Escanaba, along with the service’s other legacy medium endurance cutters, is slated to be replaced by a new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will have the endurance to operate more than 50 miles offshore to carry out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety missions.

The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interagency interoperability. Its advanced technical features include modern sensors and enhanced surveillance capabilities 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.

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