Cutter returns to new homeport of Portsmouth after conducting joint maritime operations

Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Seneca. (U.S Coast Guard photo)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The Coast Guard Cutter Seneca is back in Portsmouth, after spending nearly two months conducting counter-drug and humanitarian operations in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

The Seneca embarked with a helicopter squadron out of Jacksonville, Florida.

A Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) MH-65 Dolphin aircrew forward deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca medevacs Hondurans’ near Puerto Lempira, Honduras, Nov. 13, 2020. The Coast Guard is assisting in urgent search and rescue and redistribution of relief aid in Honduras affected by Hurricane Eta. (U.S. Coast Guard photo).

Seneca crew members conducted joint maritime operations with the Colombian Naval vessel A.R.C. Punta Ardita.

The crew also worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Navy.

The joint effort resulted in the seizure of more than $124 million worth of cocaine and marijuana and the detainment of nine suspected narcotics traffickers.

“I continue to be impressed with what the crew of Seneca can accomplish,” said Cmdr. Matthew Rooney, commanding officer of the Seneca. “Operating in a pandemic environment is a challenge and the crew rose to it. We accomplished a lot in a short time. Counter-narcotics interdictions, international cooperation, hurricane assistance, and refueling at sea. This patrol encompassed many of our core missions and improved our proficiency. The crew can return home with their head held high with pride.”

The Seneca crew has called Portsmouth home since September. The 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter was previously stationed in Boston, Massachusetts. The move was part of a strategy to provide better service to the ships and crews in a centralized location, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard Cutter Seneca arrived in its new homeport of Portsmouth, Virginia, Sept. 4, 2020. The ship’s crew was welcomed with a ribbon cutting ceremony which Admirals Keith Smith and Melvin W. Bouboulis, Capt. Michael Roschel, Cmdr. Matthew Rooney, Congressman Bobby Scott, Senator Charlotte Hurd, and Councilwoman Elizabeth Psimas attended. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

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