The crew of an Alameda-based US Coast Guard cutter returned to its homeport Friday after the cutter and its crew seized more than $188 million worth of illegal narcotics during four and a half months of counter-drug operations.
The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf was deployed to the Eastern Pacific in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, operating off the coast of Central and South America. Bertholf’s crew stopped and seized nine vessels suspected of drug smuggling, detaining 24 suspected narco-traffickers and recovering over 12,500 pounds of illegal narcotics.
To achieve such success in interdicting illegal narcotics, the crew of Bertholf works closely with local partner nations as well as Department of Defense assets and other U.S. agencies to detect and identify suspicious vessels. Upon locating such vessels, the crew launches law enforcement teams in small boats to stop and investigate the suspected smugglers. Bertholf also uses embarked aviation assets as a force multiplier to extend its reach.
Bertholf , the first of the Coast Guard’s newest and most capable multi-mission cutters, operates from South America to the Arctic. Bertholf’s speed, range, and endurance enable the cutter to conduct search and rescue, protect resources, interdict smuggling, and perform other Coast Guard missions, intercepting threats before they reach the U.S. mainland.