The U.S. Coast Guard medium endurance cutter USCGC Escanaba (WMEC-907) returned home to Boston on Saturday following a 62-day patrol in support of Operation Martillo in the Western Caribbean Sea.
Escanaba’s crew seized nearly 2,000 kilograms of cocaine, valued at $60 million while working with an armed helicopter interdiction tactical squadron onboard and local Panamanian law enforcement.
Escanaba’s crew also located a disabled boat 100 miles north of Colombia in 14-foot seas and 35 mph winds. The crew launched its small boat team and rescued the four crew members stranded aboard the boat. Escanaba’s crew transferred the survivors to the Colombian Navy.
“I am extremely proud of the crew for their extraordinary dedication and professionalism throughout this patrol during an unprecedented time,” said Cmdr. Mike Nalli, commanding officer of Escanaba. “We overcame numerous challenges to focus on mission execution and achieve excellent results in support of SOUTHCOM’s national objectives.”
Operation Martillo is a multinational detection, monitoring, and interdiction operation that consists of 20 participating nations working together to counter transnational organized crime networks and illicit trafficking in the waters along Central America.
USCGC Escanaba is a U.S. Coast Guard 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter (WMEC) with a crew complement of 100. They conduct maritime enforcement and homeland security missions in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.
The vessel’s keel was laid on April 1, 1983 at Robert Derecktor Shipyard Incorporated, Middletown, Rhode Island. She was launched on February 6, 1985, and is named for her predecessor, USCGC Escanaba (WPG-77), which was named for the Escanaba River and Escanaba, Michigan. Escanaba (WMEC-907) was formally commissioned on August 29, 1987 in Grand Haven, Michigan, the home port of her predecessor.