A HITRON MH-65 Dolphin firing warning stitches across the bow of a go-fast. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: HITRON – 20 years of hitting new highs!

HITRON is a deploying helicopter squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida, specializing in Airborne Use of Force for counter-narcotic operations. HITRON is the nation’s first, and most successful airborne law enforcement unit trained and authorized to employ AUF. With their aeronautical skill, Airborne Use of Force tactics and professionalism, HITRON aircrews have exemplified the Coast Guard’s core values of “honor, respect and devotion to duty.”

Protecting America: Coast Guard counter-drug aircrews record 500th drug bust

The Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) marked its 500th drug interdiction when a deployed crew stopped a drug-laden go-fast vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2017.

From the Commandant: Standing the Watch

For those who can join friends, family and loved ones over the holiday season, Fran and I encourage you to make the most of every moment as we honor those who are on watch tonight, and every night, protecting the freedoms we so enjoy.

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

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.


Gallatin’s final patrol

They stood side by side, one last time, on the back of the great white beast as they entered the quiet waters of Charleston Harbor. For the last 72 days, they had toiled together under the Caribbean sun far from home and hearth in service to their country. It had been a hard journey, but a fruitful one. However, for now, they were left only to gaze out into the harbor, each with their own thoughts. As they drew closer they could see the banners of their nation flapping gently in the soft December breeze. A crowd had gathered; some were holding signs, while others waved. They had made it; they were finally home. The last patrol of Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin and its crew had come to an end.


Deter, disrupt, interdict

On the evening of Jul. 15, 2013, a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Air Station Miami detected a go-fast in the waters south of Mona Pass. Assisted by infrared capabilities, the sharp aircrew detected suspicious, square-shaped packages onboard and notified the command center at Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico.

5 drug busts

5 drug busts + 2 months = $135 million of cocaine

What happened when a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment and medium endurance cutter teamed up with a U.S. Navy frigate and Customs and Border Protection? A total of 168 bales of cocaine, worth more than $135 million, never made it […]

On guard for America: Coast Guard Cutter Diligence

Written by Cmdr. D. Goodwin, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence. If you live on our nation’s coasts, it is likely you have seen a Coast Guard helicopter soaring overhead on a training flight. Or maybe you’ve even seen […]

Eastern Pacific patrol

From the bridge of the Bertholf: Eastern Pacific counter-drug arena

While our current patrol of the Bering Sea provides us with yet another opportunity to refine our use of ship sensors, command and control, helicopters, small boats, crew compliment, speed and endurance – what we call improving the “speed of the system” – I find myself reflecting on the impact this class of ship has already had in the Eastern Pacific counter-drug arena, and the impact it will have for other missions such as high seas drift net enforcement, Western and Central Pacific fisheries enforcement and disaster response.