The crew of the 270'x38' medium endurance cutter USCGC Forward (WMEC 911) returned to their homeport in Portsmouth, Va., late last year following a 60-day, counterdrug deployment in the central Caribbean Sea.
While underway in the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of operations and in support of Joint Interagency Task Force–South, Forward traveled more than 11,250 miles conducting counterdrug operations as part of a multi-faceted approach to combatting illicit narcotics trafficking across maritime borders.Part of this effort included international partnerships with the HNLMS Holland (P840) of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Crewmembers assigned to both vessels conducted the first-ever helicopter-driven narcotics transfer with the support of pilots from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, transferring 13,105 lbs. of interdicted cocaine for future case prosecution.Throughout the patrol, Forward held approximately 18,500 lbs. of cocaine on deck worth an estimated $244 million. In November, Forward transferred approximately 4,365 lbs. of cocaine to USCGC Campbell (WMEC 909) and 1,654 lbs. of cocaine to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Forward also intercepted three suspected narcotics smugglers and held 12 others. Forward also offloaded approximately 13,375 lbs. of cocaine worth an estimated $176 million, in Port Everglades, Fla.