U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area
USCGC Resolute completes 42-day winter Caribbean patrol
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PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of USCGC Resolute (WMEC 620) returned to St. Petersburg, Florida, on Jan. 14, following a 42-day patrol in support of Operation Southeast Watch and others.
Resolute traveled over 5,000 miles, rescued and repatriated 110 Haitian migrants, and stopped 500 kilograms of contraband.
The crew departed Florida, Dec. 4, 2020, to Windward Pass, patrolling off Haiti’s northern coast to deter illegal immigration and promote regional stability. They responded to a report of a dangerously overcrowded and unseaworthy vessel received from a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter on station off the coast of Haiti. From the air, the Jayhawk crew described the boat as having approximately 50 to 80 people aboard.
The Jayhawk crew guided Resolute’s small boats to the vessel, and once on the scene, the boarding team embarked on the 40-foot wooden boat and discovered 110 Haitian migrants. Working through the night, the small boat crews safely rescued all 110 migrants, including six children, and ferried them back to the cutter, where they received food, water, and medical attention. All 110 migrants were subsequently repatriated back to Cap Haitian with the Coast Guard liaison officer’s assistance in Haiti and the Haitian coast guard.
Transitioning to the Caribbean Sea, the crew intercepted a northbound vessel, resulting in more than 500 kilograms of contraband. Coast Guard boarding teams detained the suspected smugglers and took positive control of the boat. The contraband, detainees, and vessel were transported to the United States for final case disposition.
Resolute’s crew conducted numerous at-sea transfers of contraband and detainees with other U.S. Coast Guard and Navy surface assets, including cutters William Trump, Raymond Evans, Mohawk, James, Decisive, Richard Etheridge, and the U.S. naval warship USS Comstock (LSD 45). Resolute’s crew worked closely with these units to safely embark and transport suspected smugglers and contraband to the United States, ensuring numerous cases’ timely disposition.
Resolute completed more than 40 shipboard-helicopter evolutions with Coast Guard Air Station Miami’s assistance before returning home. Conducting these flight operations helped Air Station Miami pilots maintain critical flight currencies and allowed Resolute to train new crew and maintain shipboard-helicopter proficiency for future patrols.
Through this patrol, Resolute supported international, multi-agency operations, including Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Southeast Watch, Operation Caribbean Guard, Enhanced Counternarcotics Operations, Campaign Martillo, and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.
“Working for the Coast Guard’s 7th District was a rewarding experience for the crew of Resolute. We stood the watch throughout the holiday season and into the new year, transitioning seamlessly between alien-migration interdiction operations to enforcing counter drug regulations on the high seas.”
– Cmdr. Justin Vanden Heuvel, commanding officer of Resolute
“The crew of the Resolute has done a fantastic job during this recent patrol, and their successes illustrate the vital partnerships that are essential in combating transnational criminal organizations that threaten global security and prosperity. The U.S. Coast Guard and JIATF-South work together every day, as well as with our other U.S. and international partners, to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs that are a major funding source for criminal organizations operating within the Western Hemisphere.”
– Rear Adm. Douglas Fears, director of Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF)-South
Joint Interagency Task Force South comprises 15 U.S. and 21 international agencies that cooperate in combating transnational organized crime.
Operation Unified Resolve contributes to interagency results being achieved every day locally under Operation Caribbean Guard. It coordinates efforts between the Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Commonwealth and Territorial law enforcement partners, who are working diligently to deter, detect and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Operation Southeast Watch focuses on the prevention, deterrence, and response to illegal migration in the Windward Passage. The Windward Passage is a strait in the Caribbean Sea, between the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola.
The president and secretary of defense announced the enhanced counternarcotics mission on April 1, 2020. Since then, the Department of State, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies have strengthened our methods and improved operations to obstruct drug shipments from transnational criminal organizations.
Campaign Martillo (Hammer) is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. Joint Interagency Task Force South, a component of U.S. Southern Command, leads U.S. military participation.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office created the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) initiative to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Caribbean. It is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigating South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics using the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States.
The CCSF initiative comprises HSI, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Coast Guard, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Police Department’s Joint Forces for Rapid Action.
Resolute is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter and has a crew of 78. Their motto is Fama Extendere Factis, fame through good deeds.
Resolute commissioned on Dec. 8, 1966, and homeports in St. Petersburg.
The first cutter resolute was a top-sail schooner built and commissioned in 1867 for the Revenue Cutter Service. It was homeported in Key West, Florida, and took on smuggling interdiction and search and rescue missions.
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