JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant returned to homeport at Naval Station Mayport on Thursday after a 63-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
During their nine-week, counter-drug deployment, the crew seized more than $116 million worth of illegal narcotics while operating off the coast of Central and South America.
"I'm extremely proud of what our crew accomplished during this patrol," said Cmdr. Adam Chamie, the Valiant's commanding officer. "Our 80 men and women patrolled over 14,000 miles, through the Panama Canal and back. The quantity of drugs they seized was impressive."
While on patrol, the Valiant crew stopped and seized five vessels suspected of drug smuggling, detaining 16 suspected narco-traffickers, and recovering more than 7,800 pounds of illegal narcotics.
"Our families, friends, and citizens of Jacksonville have much to be proud of," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Cory Driscoll, a boatswain's mate and the ship's senior enlisted leader. "Our crew has been looking forward to today's homecoming to share their pride and accomplishments with their loved ones."
Coast Guard Cutter Valiant is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter with a 75-member crew.
The Valiant, along with 26 other Medium Endurance Cutters, are slated for replacement by a new class of ship, named the Offshore Patrol Cutter.
These new ships will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard's maritime security and safety missions in support of national interests.