USCCC Northland returns to Portsmouth following 80-day Eastern Pacific patrol, Miami drug offload

Coast Guard

(U.S. Coast Guard photo)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — USCGC Northland returned to Portsmouth on Monday after an 80-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the Coast Guard Eleventh District and Joint Interagency Task Force South.

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While in the Pacific, the crew performed counter-drug operations with the support of an aviation detachment from the U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron flying an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter.

“During this patrol, our crew showed terrific adaptability when responding to equipment malfunctions, scheduling changes, issues spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a litany of other challenges faced,” said Cmdr. Patricia M. Bennett, Northland’s commanding officer. “Throughout all of this, the crew displayed tremendous determination and teamwork, resulting in multiple mission accomplishments. I am extremely proud of the effort put forth by Northland, our embarked aviation detachment, and all of the support elements that worked to ensure our safety and success throughout.”

They successfully interdicted several suspected drug smuggling vessels. On September 8, they offloaded 7,833 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $148 million at U.S. Coast Guard Base Miami Beach.

In addition, they transferred three suspected narcotics smugglers to Coast Guard Seventh District and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration personnel.

The crews also successfully rescued three mariners trapped aboard a boat.

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