Coast Guard Cutter Diligence Crew Returns to Wilmington After 65-day Patrol
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence crew returned to Wilmington May 31 following a 65-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea, the service said in a release.
The Diligence crew was deployed in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South) and performed several Coast Guard missions, including counter-drug operations and deterrence of illegal immigration.
Law enforcement personnel from the cutter stopped two smuggling vessels, seized 2,500 pounds of marijuana worth about $2.2 million and prevented approximately 375 kilograms of suspected cocaine from making it to the United States. The crew also worked closely with other Coast Guard cutters, a U.S. Navy ship and Dutch warships to assist in caring for more than 20 detainees from eight drug busts pending transfer to the Drug Enforcement Administration for prosecution.
The cutter crew conducted flight operations multiple times throughout the patrol with MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron and Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico. The flight operations included deck landings and helicopter in-flight refueling, which is a refueling method for helicopter crews while in a hover near the cutter.
JIATF-South is a designated multiservice, multiagency national task force to detect, monitor, disrupt and dismantle illicit trafficking and threat networks in support of national and hemispheric security.