Cutter Bear returns home after 74-day deployment

The USCGC Bear (WMEC 901) approaches the pier in Portsmouth, Virginia, Monday. Bear returned home following a 74-day deployment to the northern Atlantic Ocean where crew members conducted living marine resources enforcement to ensure federal regulations compliance in U.S. waters, and the crew also took part in the Canadian Armed Forces-led, multinational naval exercise Operation Nanook. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Hillard)

The Coast Guard Cutter Bear (WMEC 901) approaches the pier in Portsmouth, Virginia, Monday.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Hillard)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bear (WMEC 901) returned to their homeport in Portsmouth Tuesday, after a 74-day patrol in the northern regions of the Atlantic Ocean.

During the deployment, Bear sailed more than 10,000 nautical miles while simultaneously working in tandem with allied and partner nations as a part of the naval convoy in Operation Nanook, a signature military exercise coordinated by the Canadian Armed Forces. Bear also completed a living marine resource enforcement patrol for commercial fishing vessels as part of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization, ensuring compliance with federal regulations while safeguarding natural resources.

For approximately two weeks, American, Canadian, Danish and French forces navigated the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean performing multiple training evolutions that included search-and-rescue, close quarters maneuvering, fleet steaming and gunnery exercises. Additionally, personnel from Maritime Security Response Team East, a specialized Coast Guard law enforcement unit, embedded with Bear to exercise their capabilities and assist with enhancing the training curriculums for other nations.

At the conclusion of Operation Nanook, Bear moored in Nuuk, Greenland, for three days hosting the first public tours of a U.S. Coast Guard asset in over four years for the local residents.

“Bear’s deployment was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train with partners and allies while visiting remote places,” said Cmdr. Brooke Millard, commanding officer of Bear. “From close-quarters maneuvering in areas with icebergs to navigating into the fjords of Labrador, Bear’s crew performed.”

Bear is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth with 100 crewmembers. The cutter’s primary mission areas include homeland security, law enforcement, counterdrug, search and rescue, migrant interdiction, and fisheries enforcement in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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