Cutter Morgenthau Returns from Productive Anti-Smuggling Patrol

11th Coast Guard District NewsALAMEDA, Calif. – The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau returned to homeport at Coast Guard Island today after successfully derailing multiple illegal trafficking operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

During a 72-day patrol the crew intercepted nine vessels engaged in narcotics, migrant, and money trafficking. The interceptions, some accomplished in coordination with navies of partner nations in the region, resulted in the seizure or disruption of more than a ton of cocaine and approximately 1,300 pounds of marijuana, confiscation of $12,000 in cash associated with criminal activity, the interdiction and rescue of 10 undocumented migrants, and detainment of 15 suspected smugglers.

An aviation detachment from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron based in Jacksonville, Fla., was aboard during the patrol and completed over 100 flight hours and was critical in directing the intercept of some of the smuggling vessels.

“This deployment is a true testament to the abilities and dedication of my crew and the aviators of the HITRON detachment,” said Capt. Gregory Burg, Morgenthau’s commanding officer.  “As you walk around the decks you can’t help but notice crewmembers smiling as they share stories about the past months’ events.  These successes are due to the incredible dedication of these young men and women who leave their families for months at a time to make a difference.”

Overall coordination of the counter-drug mission in the Eastern Pacific is done by the Joint Interagency Task Force, South, headquartered in Key West, Fla. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the region occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District, based in Alameda, Calif., or by law enforcement agencies of partner nations in the region Morgenthau worked with both the Panamanian and Colombian navies to successfully intercept suspected smuggling vessels on this patrol.

“The accomplishments of Morgenthau’s crew and the HITRON on this patrol were extraordinary,” said Rear Adm. Joseph “Pepe” Castillo, 11th District commander.  “The high level of performance sustained on this patrol shows the tenacity of these brave men and women and I appreciate the sacrifices they make to keep our nation safe.  The results of this patrol clearly show that flight-deck equipped cutters and helicopters working in tandem provide unmatched capability to patrol for prolonged periods, quickly interdict threats far from U.S. shores, respond to emergencies, and protect the security and safety of all Americans.”

Morgenthau, commissioned on March 10, 1969, has a crew of approximately 165 men and women whose missions include search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, fisheries and maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection and homeland security.

The 42-year-old Morgenthau and the 11 other original Secretary-class, high endurance cutters, are being replaced by eight Legend-class, national security cutters. The NCSs are faster, better equipped, more durable, safer and more efficient than their predecessor, and will allow the Coast Guard to deliver its unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise wherever needed to protect American interests, today and for decades to come.  The first three of these new cutters share the homeport of Alameda with Morgenthau.


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