Coast Guard Cutter Forward Returns Home After Counter Drug Patrol

USCG File Photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Forward, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter, returned to its homeport of Portsmouth Thursday.

Forward deployed for 58 days with an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) Jacksonville, Fla., in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South).

The crew of the Forward conducted four boardings of suspected drug smuggling vessels and helped a sister ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis, interdict a go-fast type vessel smuggling 62 bales of cocaine. After a maritime patrol aircraft located the go-fast vessel, the crew of the Forward launched the MH-65C helicopter which flew to Thetis and coordinated with their interceptor boatcrew to stop the vessel, detain three smugglers and seize the cocaine, worth approximately $48 million.

This patrol was also highlighted by engagement with international counter-drug partners from the Republic of Panama and the United Kingdom, including a fueling at sea with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Ruler, a British oiler.

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