Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba returned to Boston Saturday after a two-month patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean which resulted in the seizure of 2.7 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $75 million in wholesale value, and strengthened international partnerships.
While in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the crew intercepted two separate smuggling vessels which resulted in the drug seizures and detention of seven suspected smugglers. The successful interdictions were the result of coordination between Escanaba’s crew and several partner agencies from Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South).
In addition to counter-drug operations, the 270-foot medium endurance cutter joined naval maritime forces from 19 countries for UNITAS in Lima, Peru. UNITAS, which began in 1960 and means “unity” in Latin, allows U.S. forces to train alongside Caribbean, Central and South American partner nations.
During the ten-day event, Escanaba participated in numerous multi-national exercises at sea focusing on various warfare areas including maritime interdiction operations, naval gun-fire support, tactical maneuvering and formation steaming, and search and rescue.
While ashore, Escanaba’s crew demonstrated their professional expertise while supporting a law enforcement symposium sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, several members of Escanaba’s crew participated in a ship-rider exchange with naval vessels from Mexico, Chile, and Peru furthering professional and cultural relationships.