PORTSMOUTH, Va. — USCGC Legare and HITRON crews returned home Thursday after an eight-week counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South and the Coast Guard 11th District.
The crew patrolled over 12,650 nautical miles through the heart of the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Martillo working in conjunction with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other partnering nations.
With the assistance of an embarked Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) aviation detachment, with an MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Jacksonville, Fla., and a two-person Law Enforcement Detachment Team from San Diego, Legare’s team was successful in the interdiction of over 1,300 lbs. of illegal narcotics worth an estimated street value of more than $24.6 million.
En route to the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Legare also stood by to support the Coast Guard’s 1st District in the Northeast following hurricane Henri and assisted in transferring two migrants in support of the 7th District in the Southeast.
Cmdr. Malcolm Belt, commanding officer, stated, “I’m extremely proud of the Legare crew, and our HITRON aviation detachment for the perseverance demonstrated during this patrol. Despite significant equipment failures and logistics hurdles experienced this patrol for both our helicopter and the cutter, the crew always rose to the occasion to ensure we stayed mission effective.”
Campaign Martillo is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in international waters within the Western Hemisphere. Joint Interagency Task Force South, a component of U.S. Southern Command, leads U.S. military participation.
The Legare is a 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, under the command of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. Based in Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. Also, they allocate ships to deploy to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to combat transnational organized crime and illicit maritime activity.
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