The U.S. Coast Guard Reliance-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Resolute (WMEC-620) returned home Saturday to St. Petersburg following a 71-day deployment.
While on deployment, the Resolute crew interdicted two suspected drug smuggling vessels, repatriated 50 Haitian migrants and earned designations for exceptional performance during a three-week training.
The Resolute crew departed St. Petersburg, February 16 and transited to Jacksonville, where they completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability at Naval Station Mayport. The training tested the crew’s readiness through graded drills that simulated fire and flooding emergencies, medical injuries, and engineering equipment failures. The Resolute crew achieved a 96% overall drill average.
After TSTA, USCGC Resolute transited south to the Caribbean in support of the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy. The patrol began with an international engagement called Operation RIPTIDE. The operation combined U.S. Coast Guard, Jamaica Defence Force, and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard assets to focus on counter-drug operations in the Caribbean, emphasizing the dismantling of trans-national criminal networks, the strengthening of partner nation interoperability, and the advancement of operational coordination.
On March 17, Resolute crewembers, with the assistance of a Customs and Border Protection aircraft crew, interdicted two suspected drug smuggling vessels carrying a combined total of 2,600 lbs of marijuana valued at over $2.3 million dollars wholesale value and detained seven suspected drug smugglers as part of Operation Riptide.
“When considering the vastness of the ocean, the governing legal regimes and associated jurisdictional complexities, a whole-of-government approach is essential to the effective take-down of would-be smugglers.” said DeGeorge.
Shortly after the interdiction, the U.S. Embassy Kingston Defense Attaché Office hosted a reception on board the Resolute in Kingston, Jamaica, to celebrate and reinforce military and diplomatic ties between Jamaica and the U.S. At the event, Major General Rocky Meade, Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Chargé d’Affaires, Eric Khant, signed a notable agreement to assign a JDF liaison officer to Joint Interagency Task Force-South in Key West, Florida. The position is designed to provide improved collaboration and information sharing.
“Jamaica is a critical partner in our efforts to combat the efforts of trans-national criminal networks seeking to exploit the maritime domain,” said DeGeorge. “The officers and crew of Resolute were humbled to be part of this unique event, and we were honored to host senior officials from the U.S. Embassy, Jamaican National Security Staff, and Jamaican Defense Force.”
Following Operation RIPTIDE, Resolute was assigned to Operation SOUTHEAST WATCH, which focuses on the prevention, deterrence, and response to illegal migration in the Windward Passage. On April 10, Resolute crewmembers repatriated 50 Haitian migrants to the Haitian Coast Guard as a result of an interdiction conducted by the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance crew and the Cuban Border Guard. Reliance crewmembers located an overloaded 70-foot sail freighter carrying 127 Haitian migrants approximately 200 miles off the northeast coast of Cuba.
The Coast Guard increased the U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy.
USCGC Resolute is a 210-foot Reliance class cutter, homeported in St. Petersburg and has a crew of 81.
U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Tampa Bay