Coast Guard Cutter Stone underway for first patrol

Flight crew members from U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile maintain and inspect their MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter on the USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) off Florida on Dec. 27, 2020. The helicopter crew trained with the Stone’s crew members to certify the Stone’s flight deck and help train the crew in helicopter operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class John Hightower)

Flight crew members from U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile maintain and inspect their MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter on the USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) off Florida on Dec. 27, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class John Hightower)

NORFOLK, Va. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stone (WMSL 758) departed from Pascagoula, Mississippi, Tuesday, just ahead of Christmas, for a multi-month deployment to the South Atlantic countering illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing while strengthening relationships for maritime sovereignty and security throughout the region.

The brand new Legend-class national security cutter, one of the U.S. Coast Guard’s flagships, will provide a presence and support national security objectives throughout the Atlantic. This patrol is the cutter’s initial shakedown cruise following its delivery in November.

This the service’s first patrol to South America in recent memory, engaging partners including Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Portugal. The cutter also embarked an observer from the Portuguese navy for the operation’s duration.

Operation Southern Cross is conducted in conjunction with U.S. Southern Command, charged with managing operations in Central and South America by working collaboratively to ensure the Western Hemisphere is secure, free, and prosperous.

In September 2020, the Coast Guard released the Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported Fishing Strategic Outlook, which reaffirms the commitment to global maritime security, regional stability, and economic prosperity.


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