Area Commanders Praise National Security Cutter Performance in Drug Wars

A Coast Guard Cutter Stratton boarding team searches a suspected smuggling vessel interdicted in the eastern Pacific Ocean on May 31. Area commanders on July 14 praised the performance of NSCs for their role in drug interdictions. U.S. COAST GUARD

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Coast Guard’s Atlantic and Pacific area commanders have praised the service’s fleet of Legend-class national security cutters (NSCs) in their role as platforms for drug interdiction. 

Speaking July 14 at a webinar co-sponsored by the organization, NatSec 2020: Coronavirus and Beyond, sponsored by the Navy League of the United States, the Association of the United States Army and Government Matters, were Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, and Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin, commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area.  

The NSC “is game-changing for us in countering the narcotics flow in the eastern Pacific,” Fagan said. 

She said the interdiction of drugs at sea is especially advantageous because they are seized in large quantities before the drug supply chain can break the loads into smaller quantities. 

Speaking of the “incredible capability” of the NSCs, Poulin said, “I’ve seen that time and time again. The capacity, the technological edge that those Coast Guard cutters bring to the fight … that is an incredible platform.” 

Poulin said the Coast Guard also is looking forward to accepting delivery of the future offshore patrol cutter, 25 of which will replace the service’s medium-endurance cutters, some of which are more than 60 years old.  

NSCs are built by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Coast Guard has accepted delivery of nine, with two more under construction.