U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward returned to its homeport of Portsmouth, Virginia, on February 28, following a two-month patrol in the western and central Caribbean Sea.
Forward’s patrol resulted in the seizure of more than 124 kilograms of cocaine and disruption of more than 1.3 tonnes of marijuana with a combined worth of approximately $10.5 million.
These counter-drug interdictions were carried out as part of Operation Martillo, an international detection, monitoring and interdiction operation bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies (Joint Interagency Task Force South).
During this operation, the Cutter Forward worked jointly with several nations in the central Caribbean to include the Bahamas, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
In addition to stemming the flow of illicit contraband, Cutter Forward lead a joint search and rescue for a capsized Nicaraguan tour boat in February.
Cutter Forward is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter home-ported in Portsmouth, Virginia, that operates in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico for the commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area. Its missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, defense readiness, and ports, waterways, and coastal security.
The 26-year old Cutter Forward, along with the service’s 26 other medium endurance cutters, is slated to be replaced by a new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will be operating more than 50 miles from land.