Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returns home from 2-month patrol

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard cutter Tampa and crew returned to family and friends here Sunday after a busy 61-day patrol off Florida and in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

During the patrol Tampa crew members spent several days patrolling the Florida Straits for illegal migrants and serving as a holding platform for 38 rescued Cuban migrants. Once the migrants were transferred to other Coast Guard assets, Tampa crew members conducted 119 flight evolutions in 16 hours, helping qualify five Coast Guard pilots.

Tampa then headed south, transited the Panama Canal and proceeded to conduct counter-drug operations. With the assistance of its embarked armed helicopter, and in conjunction with U.S. Navy and local country forces, crewmembers from the Tampa successfully disrupted two drug-smuggling attempts.

Tampa is one of six 270-foot medium-endurance cutters homeported in Portsmouth.

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