U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell (WMEC 909) returned to their temporary homeport in Newport RI October 13th following a 75-day multi-mission patrol to the South Florida Straits and Windward Passage.
Campbell deployed in support of Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast and Operation Vigilant Sentry within the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of responsibility. Campbell’s crew conducted maritime safety and security missions while working to detect, deter, and intercept unsafe and illegal maritime migration ventures bound for the United States. Over the course of the patrol, Campbell’s crew rescued, cared for and repatriated 111 migrants.
Notably, Campbell teamed up with U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Valiant (WMEC 621) for a search and rescue and law enforcement operation ahead of Hurricane Idalia. While transiting 70 miles east of Tybee Island, Georgia, Valiant located a makeshift hydro-pod vessel adrift. The vessel operator refused a Coast Guard Captain of the Port order to return to port due to a manifestly unsafe voyage. Campbell arrived on scene and facilitated the operator’s safe evacuation from the vessel less than 24 hours prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds and seas.
“I am very proud of everything the Campbell and our crew accomplished this patrol, from protecting mariners from the treacherous seas of tropical cyclones to standing the watch along our southeast maritime border,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Harris, commanding officer of Campbell. “This crew continues to live up to the ship’s motto of ‘Pride – Tradition – Readiness’ as we celebrate 35 years of Campbell’s service to our nation.”
HSTF-SE serves as the Department of Homeland Security lead for operational and tactical planning, command and control, and acts as a standing organization to interdict illegal maritime migration attempts with federal, state and local partners. HSTF-SE continues enhanced enforcement efforts in support of OVS, the 2004 DHS plan to respond to irregular and unlawful mass maritime migration in the Caribbean Sea and the Florida Straits.
Campbell is a 270-foot, Famous-class medium endurance cutter. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-narcotics operations, migrant interdiction, living marine resources protection, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere. Campbell is temporarily based in Rhode Island until her berth at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is available again.