KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis, a 270-foot Famous-class cutter, and crew returned to Key West, Saturday, July 3, following a 47-day deployment to the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean working with U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South, the Coast Guard7th District said in a release.
Thetis’ crew interdicted three suspected smugglers and approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $75 million. The Thetis crew deployed with an MH-65 helicopter and aviation detachment capable of conducting airborne use of force from the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Thetis crew also conducted joint counter-narcotic and seamanship training with the Panamanian navy, in which they participated in communications exercises, non-compliant vessel pursuit tactics and medical training while at sea with Panamanian partners.
“The Coast Guard maintains a consistent presence in the region while also leveraging support from our maritime partner nations,” said Cmdr. Justin Nadolny, Thetis’ commanding officer. “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to train and operate with the Panamanian navy, they are a true group of professionals and together we continue to disrupt the flow of illicit contraband into the United States.”