The Alameda-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche returned to its homeport of Alameda Saturday completing a 14-week deployment that included counter-smuggling patrols, participation in the largest multi-national maritime exercise in the world, and fisheries enforcement operations.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche spent the first month of their deployment off the coast of Southern California and Mexico in support of joint inter-agency, counter-drug operations. Working with other Coast Guard assets, Customs and Border patrol (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Mexican navy, the cutter’s crew interdicted more than 10,000 pounds of illegal narcotics and six suspected narco-traffickers.
Waesche then shifted their focus to the Central Pacific, where they participated in the multi-national Rim of the Pacific Exercises 2014 (RIMPAC).
After RIMPAC, the cutter headed to the South Pacific Ocean to conduct Fisheries Enforcement in support of the 14th Coast Guard District, which spans from Hawaii to American Samoa, Guam, and other U.S. possessions in the Pacific. During the patrol, Waesche embarked three fisheries enforcement specialists from partner nations in the Pacific, including Kiribati and the Cook Islands.
In addition to fisheries enforcement, the crew of Waesche had the opportunity to conduct flight operations with the French navy off the coast of Tahiti, completing a series of hoists and simulated supply-drops with the French AS365 Helicopter, the European version of the Coast Guard’s HH-65 Dolphin.