NEW ORLEANS — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence arrived at the cutter’s new homeport in Pensacola, Florida, at the end of a 64-day patrol in the Caribbean, July 27, the Coast Guard 8th District said in a release.
The Diligence crew performed counter-drug, search and rescue, and migrant interdiction operations in support of the Coast Guard’s 7th District.
This patrol began May 25 when the ship departed Wilmington, North Carolina, for the last time. The Diligence spent the prior 28 years homeported on Wilmington’s historic downtown Riverwalk, along the bank of the Cape Fear River. The cutter marked the completion of its third homeport shift throughout its service history after mooring on July 27 at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The Diligence crew patrolled the Windward Pass between Cuba, the Bahamas, and Haiti alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to dangerous illegal maritime migration and narcotics smuggling from Central and South America. The crew also completed necessary shipboard training to maintain qualifications and operational readiness during a summer period that featured an approximate one-third turnover of the ship’s crew.
“Diligence’s departure from Wilmington, North Carolina, was bittersweet, and we look forward to starting the next chapter of Diligence’s long and storied history in Pensacola,” said Cmdr. Luke Slivinski, Diligence’s commanding officer. “The crew’s commendable professionalism and proficiency enabled Diligence’s successful patrol execution amidst the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Diligence is a 56-year-old, 210-foot medium-endurance cutter and has a crew of 70 personnel. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.