Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. Cocaine seizures prevent drugs from reaching America’s streets, while delivering a blow to the wallet and influence of transnational organized crime groups. Without the Coast Guard and its partners, hundreds of millions of dollars would flow past U.S. borders and fuel these crime-terror-insurgency organizations.
The U.S. Coast Guard marked the end of a record year in counterdrug operations as the crew of Cutter Waesche from Alameda, California, offloaded more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine in San Diego, Oct. 27, 2016. The Coast Guard’s counternarcotics operations are part of a U.S. government effort to dismantle transnational organized crime networks from increasing violence and instability in the Western Hemisphere.
Stepping aboard an unfamiliar ship for the first time can be overwhelming. But, a ship is a ship, and sailors are sailors, used to quickly adapting regardless of the vessel. On January 20, 2015, three khaki-clad Mexican Naval officers came on board the 418-foot Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, arguably the most advanced and mission capable cutter in the fleet, and were quickly made to feel at home.