The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to their homeport in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Saturday, following a 45-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea.
During their patrol, the Diligence crew conducted search and rescue operations off the west coast of Cuba and conducted drug interdiction operations in the vicinity of Columbia and Panama.
In anticipation of Aviation Standardization, a three-day assessment of the Diligence crew’s flight operations capabilities scheduled for early October, the crew practiced flight operations their first evening underway. An MH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah in Savannah, Georgia, met the cutter crew to conduct deck landings, helicopter in flight refueling (HIFR) and vertical replenishment (VERTREP) exercises.
Throughout the patrol, the crew of the Diligence provided operational support to the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South in the Western Caribbean Sea. In concert with JIATF South, the U.S. Coast Guard works alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to illegal maritime migration and narcotics smuggling in the Caribbean Sea. Law enforcement personnel from the Diligence worked with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, which is homeported in Boston, to interdict a vessel smuggling narcotics and prevented more than 700 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $23 million from being delivered to the United States.
When not conducting law enforcement activities, the crew of the Diligence focused on training in damage control, boat operations, engineering casualty control and ship handling for new crewmembers to complete their required shipboard qualifications.
Following their return to Wilmington, Diligence will undergo maintenance.
The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter with a crew of approximately 80 Coast Guard members. The cutter’s primary missions consist of counter drug and migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws and conducting search and rescue operations.