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The Long Blue Line: War zone operations of buoy tender Walnut in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Units and personnel of the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessor services have served with distinction in every major American conflict and 2003’s Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) proved no exception to this rule. In OIF, the Coast Guard excelled in its specialties of port security, coastal and environmental security, and maritime interdiction operations. At the height of combat operations, 1,250 Coast Guard personnel served in OIF. Coast Guard vessels and land-based personnel brought many vital capabilities to the theater of operations, including aids-to-navigation.

In the zone: ‘Another life saved’

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Suspicions were raised when a fisherman in a panga in the Eastern Pacific Ocean approached Coast Guard Cutter Sherman. After having interdicted several illicit drug runners during the patrol, the mission altered when it was a revealed a fisherman was in need of medical services.

In the zone: ‘Three interdictions in one day!’

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On a patrol that took the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Sherman away from their families during the holiday season, the mission has never been so critical. Lives hang in the balance as they work to keep drugs from reaching the U.S. streets and ravaging Central America. In one day, the crew interdicted three drug runs seizing more than 6,613 pounds of cocaine with a wholesale price of $99 million.

In the Zone: Unity of effort combats transnational organized criminal networks

Monday, April 11, 2016

Crew members aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami, conduct a security patrol in Tampa Bay, Florida. The MSST conducts security patrols in support of the Coast Guard's ports waterways and coastal security mission, and has recently undertaken additional responsibilities to support the Coast Guard's Western Hemisphere Strategy. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley J. Johnson.

The Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy makes it clear that combating transnational organized criminal networks is a top priority, and that the service will continually seek new methods and assets for doing so. One new method that has proven highly successful in recent years has been the deployment of the Coast Guard’s maritime safety and security teams to assist with the disruption of these networks throughout their known operating routes in the Caribbean.

In the Zone: Workhorse of the Pacific

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Crew members aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point monitor surveillance equipment for suspected of drug trafficking in the Eastern Pacific, Jan. 25, 2016. Military patrol aircraft search for drug traffickers around the clock in an attempt to reduce illegal drug activity in the region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa E. McKenzie.

The smell of coffee, sweat and hydraulic fluid permeates the air. Music echoes in the background: the beat gaining momentum as the night drags on. Workers in oil-stained coveralls and latex gloves swarm the hangar wielding tools befitting a surgeon’s operating table. The hours grow long and the coffee brews stronger. The prickling sense of urgency lingers as grease-covered hands dissect the beast’s anatomy: every turn of the wrench is precise, calculated. Each stitch buys one more flight, one more mission and one more safe return.

In the zone: In the sky and on the hunt

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

HC-130 Hercules aircrew deploys to Central America for counter-narcotics mission

Of known drug shipments, it’s believed that 97 percent are transported via maritime means. Through the Coast Guard’s role as America’s premier maritime security force, servicemembers seek to better understand, identify, aggressively pursue and prosecute transnational organized crime networks in the Western Hemisphere.

In the zone: Growing international partnerships

Monday, February 22, 2016

Emerson Garcia joins the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton boarding team as a Guatemalan shiprider in the Eastern Pacific, Nov. 20, 2015. The Stratton completed a three-month drug interdiction patrol in Central America. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson.

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton has just wrapped up a three-month deployment to Central America where their main focus was drug interdiction and international maritime law enforcement. On international patrols, Coast Guard ships often bring temporary support personnel that are pertinent to the mission. Joining them for the entire deployment was Mr. Emerson Garcia, an officer from Fuerza Especial Naval (FEN), or Guatemalan Navy Special Forces.

Reporting aboard in the drug zone

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reporting aboard in the drug zone

Transferring to a new unit is stressful. Transferring to a unit currently underway on an international counter narcotics patrol is even more so. Petty Officer 3rd Class Lawrence Flennoy, a machinery technician, recently flew to Mexico and reported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Active during the cutter’s Joint Interagency Task Force South patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

In the zone: Stratton offloads more than 66,000 pounds of cocaine

Monday, August 10, 2015

In the Zone

The Coast Guard’s leadership role in Western Hemisphere security and prosperity is critical in the fight against transnational organized crime networks active in the Western Hemisphere as continually strained national security resources are stretched across the globe.

In the zone: A crew’s determination ‘over the horizon’ part 2

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton interdicts 8.4 tons of uncut cocaine after hunting a drug smuggling semi-submersible in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 18, 2015. Waiting. Watching. Always Ready.

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