The Coast Guard cutter Alert returned to Astoria Monday after a 73-day countersmuggling deployment in the Pacific Ocean.
The Alert’s crew patrolled 13,740 miles and used a helicopter and two pursuit boats to interdict seven go-fast-style boats suspected of smuggling. The crew seized approximately 9,228 pounds of cocaine and 55 pounds of heroin, a record high for the Alert, along with 23 suspected smugglers.
“We operated at the maximum limit of our capability, and the results speak for themselves,” Cmdr. Tobias Reid, commanding officer of Alert, said in a news release.
“An incredible pace of operations was sustained by the best crew that I have worked with in my career,” he added. “I am very proud of the crew and the impact they have made in the struggle to dismantle the violent organized crime organizations that bring illegal drugs and crime to our streets every day.”
Alert’s patrol was capped by a three-day training and assessment in Long Beach, Calif. The crew was trained and evaluated in their ability to properly and safely conduct helicopter operations with a Coast Guard HH-65 helicopter crew from Forward Operating Base Point Mugu in California.