The 75-member crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active returned to homeport, June 1, after a two-month deployment off the coast of Central and South America.
During the deployment, the Active’s crew worked with numerous other Coast Guard, U.S. government and international agencies under the leadership of the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) to combat and disrupt drug smuggling and transnational organized criminal networks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The Active’s crew patrolled more than 11,000 nautical miles, conducting numerous at-sea boardings of suspect vessels, in addition to completing the extensive training and maintenance required to keep the 52-year old vessel in peak operational status. Throughout the patrol the cutter’s crew seized and disrupted delivery of more than 1,600 kilograms of cocaine, valued at more than $47 million.
While on a port call in Costa Rica, the Active’s crew took time to partner with local officials to renovate a local daycare center, helping to clean play equipment, remove trash, and perform various maintenance and landscaping projects to assist the local community.
“We were very successful on this patrol,” said Cmdr. Benjamin Berg, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Active. “We continue to sharpen our response capabilities and hone our craft to effectively thwart the trafficking of illegal narcotics. It’s often grueling and exhausting work, at all hours of the day and night, and in the heat of equatorial summer, but the crew truly understands that our operations here, thousands of miles from the U.S. border, does save lives, both at home and abroad, when we prevent this contraband and the violence that it brings with it, from reaching our shores.”
JIATF-S, a National Task Force under U.S. Southern Command, oversees the detection and monitoring of Transnational Organized Crime operations on the high seas, and assists U.S. and multi-national law enforcement agencies with the interdiction of these illicit traffickers.