USCG Stratton Offloads Cocaine

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sondra-Kay Kneen.  The crew of the Alameda-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton offloaded approximately six tons of cocaine in San Diego on Friday, March 31. Stratton’s crew made history as the first Coast Guard cutter to deploy fully equipped with a small unmanned aerial system for an entire patrol.

USCG Stratton Offloads Cocaine

 

Alameda-based cutter pioneers system

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton offloaded approximately six tons of cocaine in San Diego Friday. Several U.S. Coast Guard cutters seized the cocaine in nine interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from mid-January through February.

The drugs, intercepted in international waters off the coast of Central and South America, represent eight interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels, known as pangas, and one case of seized bales of cocaine dumped by suspected smugglers. 

Stratton was responsible for three cases, seizing approximately 3,700 pounds. The Cutter Spencer handled two cases, seizing an estimated 3,000 pounds. The Cutter Sherman was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,700 pounds and the Cutter Mohawk handled three cases resulting in the seizure of approximately 4,300 pounds.

Stratton’s crew made history as the first Coast Guard cutter to use a small unmanned aerial system for an entire patrol. The Coast Guard had previously used the system as part of field testing but had not deployed it aboard a cutter for an entire patrol. 

Aboard Stratton on this patrol the system flew more than 35 sorties, accumulated more than 260 flight hours and provided real-time surveillance and detection imagery during interdiction operations. 

“We had a tremendously successful deployment from start to finish and I could not be more proud of the crew,” said Capt. Nathan Moore, Stratton’s commanding officer. “Stratton operates on the front lines attacking transnational criminal networks where they are most vulnerable, on our turf — at sea. The addition of the unmanned aerial system added even more capability to help us protect our nation from the physical and social harm that comes from illegal drugs.”