U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward (USCG photo by PA3 Steve Baker)
Updated: Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010, 12:11 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010, 11:59 AM EST
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Coast Guard announced Wednesday that the Cutter Forward is scheduled to return to Hampton Roads from Haiti on Thursday.
The ship will pull into Base Support Unit Portsmouth following its 52-day mission.
The Forward was the first U.S. Coast Guard asset to arrive in Haiti to support earthquake relief efforts.
The Forward crew patrolled the coast of Haiti for four weeks. They also commanded a surface action group consisting of several Coast Guard cutters and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, Mich.
Early in the crisis, the Forward provided air traffic control for military planes and helicopters because the earthquake severely damaged the control tower at the main airport in Port-au-Prince.
Additionally, two law-enforcement boarding teams from the Forward assisted Royal Bahamian Police Force officials and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents in locating 360 pounds of cocaine and 46 pounds of marijuana hidden within a Haitian-flagged vessel.
"I am very proud of the crew and the bravery and resourcefulness they displayed since the moment we were notified of the devastating earthquake in Haiti," said Cmdr. Diane Durham, commanding officer of the Forward. "They worked extremely hard during the final weeks leading up to and during this patrol, and I am very proud of all their accomplishments."
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