Coast Guard Cutter Legare returns from West African deployment

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard Cutter Legare and its crew are scheduled to return to their homeport at the Coast Guard Integrated Support Command in Portsmouth, Va., following a 120-day patrol off the West African coast at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 1.

Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area will present the Coast Guard Merritorious Unit Commendation to the ship and its crew for exceptionally meritorious service as the primary Africa Partnership Station (APS) platform while they transit through Hampton Roads to their homeport in Portsmouth.

The cutter has been operating along the West African coast since July 1 serving as the APS platform for the Navy’s 6th Fleet. While there, the crew performed joint law enforcement operations with naval services and maritime enforcement agencies from Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde.

The cutter’s work in Sierra Leone produced the nation’s largest ever maritime law enforcement case when a joint boarding team consisting of Legare crew and members of Sierra Leone’s Maritime Wing boarded and seized the fishing vessel Yu Feng for illegally fishing in Sierra Leone’s waters. Yu Feng’s crew faces fines of $1 million and forfeiture of its catch and vessel. The Legare’s crew also worked with members of Cape Verde’s Coast Guard and Judiciary Police to perform five boardings resulting in one fine and conducted extensive joint operations with Moroccan and Senegalese Naval vessels which included the first ever joint Moroccan/United States law enforcement boarding and joint law enforcement exercises with an embarked Senegalese law enforcement detachment.

Legare’s crew completed two community relations projects while deployed, painting classrooms at the Ndiaye School in Dakar, Senegal and the Children’s Emergency Center in Praia, Cape Verde.

APS is an initiative aimed at improving maritime safety and security for the continent of Africa through joint maritime operations and other collaborative activities with African partner countries.

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