Coast Guard Cutter Bear returns following 3 month deployment

Coast Guard Cutter Bear file photo by PA3 Larry Chambers

Coast Guard Cutter Bear file photo by PA3 Larry Chambers

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bear returned home to Portsmouth today following a three-month deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

After transiting from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal, the Bear’s crew performed counter-narcotic operations, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement with the aid of an embarked Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron aviation detachment. The HITRON AVDET’s aid included a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The crew conducted 10 at-sea boardings and interdicted five vessels attempting to smuggle narcotics. The Bear’s crew ultimately seized approximately 15,000 pounds of cocaine in less than three months, worth an estimated wholesale value of over $200,000,000.

The Bear’s crew also performed a search and rescue mission while deployed, providing life-saving assistance to two fishermen stranded at sea off the coast of Guatemala.

“I could not be more proud of the crew, who with the support of our agency and international partners devoted countless hours towards the success of this patrol,” said Cmdr. Gregory A. Shouse, commanding officer of the Bear. “The hard work put forth by all directly aided in the dismantling of transnational organized crime networks and the eventual prosecution of those attempting to operate illegally in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.”

Bear is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter that conducts search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and illegal drug interdiction missions in support of Coast Guard operations.

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