PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Coast Guard announced Wednesday that the Cutter Forward isscheduled to return to Hampton Roads from Haiti on Thursday.
The ship will pull into Base Support Unit Portsmouth followingits 52-day mission.
The Forward was the first U.S. Coast Guard asset to arrive inHaiti 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 severalCoast Guard cutters and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from CoastGuard Air Station Detroit, Mich.
Early in the crisis, the Forward provided air traffic controlfor military planes and helicopters because the earthquake severelydamaged the control tower at the main airport inPort-au-Prince.
Additionally, two law-enforcement boarding teams from theForward assisted Royal Bahamian Police Force officials and U.S.Drug Enforcement Agency agents in locating 360 pounds of cocaineand 46 pounds of marijuana hidden within a Haitian-flaggedvessel.
"I am very proud of the crew and the bravery and resourcefulnessthey displayed since the moment we were notified of the devastatingearthquake in Haiti," said Cmdr. Diane Durham, commanding officerof the Forward. "They worked extremely hard during the final weeksleading up to and during this patrol, and I am very proud of alltheir accomplishments."
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