Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912) returned home to Portsmouth, Virginia last week, concluding a nearly 10-week deployment to the Windward Passage and the South Florida Straits. Additionally, Legare supported the Coast Guard’s Eighth District as the offshore command and control cutter in response to an oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.

The crew of the Legare steamed over 12,000 nautical miles in support of Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast and Operation Vigilant Sentry within the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of responsibility.

During the patrol, Legare interdicted one go-fast vessel off the coast of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, preventing an irregular, unlawful, and dangerous journey of 20 migrants from an overloaded vessel in unsafe sea conditions.

Legare worked alongside other Coast Guard cutters and Department of Homeland Security units to promote maritime safety and secure maritime borders, targeting unsafe migration and human trafficking from Cuba and Haiti, while prioritizing the protection of lives at sea.

Legare also patrolled the Gulf of Mexico, in response to an oil discharge approximately 20 miles northeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

“I am very proud of the crew of Legare and our ability to come together and ensure we do our part in maintaining the safety of life at sea and securing our nation’s maritime borders,” said Cmdr. Jeremy Greenwood, Legare’s commanding officer. “This mission is never easy, but we understand the importance of deterring unlawful migration incidents that involve attempting dangerous journeys on often overloaded and unseaworthy vessels. We reiterate the plea to those attempting these transits to the United States to seek safe, lawful alternatives.”

Migrants attempting to reach the United States unlawfully by sea, or who land on U.S. shores without authorization, are subject to removal and repatriation to their country of origin or departure. Consistent with U.S. policy, those who bypass or attempt to circumvent lawful immigration pathways face consequences including the potential of being barred from future lawful entry in addition to risking their lives unnecessarily.

Legare is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcement of federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations. The medium endurance cutters fall under the command of the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. Based in Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. In addition to surge operations, Atlantic Area also allocates ships to deploy to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to combat transnational organized crime and illicit maritime activity.