Coast Guard Cutter Seneca is scheduled to return to its homeport in Boston, Saturday following a 68-day deployment to the Pacific Ocean.

The Boston based cutter transited through the Panama Canal and spent several weeks combating transnational crime in the Eastern Pacific Ocean with a deployed armed Coast Guard helicopter from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron.

Seneca intercepted five smuggling vessels carrying cocaine from South America bound for the United States, including the first of a new type of Low Profile Vessel interdicted by U.S. forces in the Pacific.

coast guard

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Cutter Seneca operate an intercepted smuggling vessel in the Pacific Ocean. Vessels like these are designed to smuggle large quantities of narcotics. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Low Profile Vessels are unique in that they are fully enclosed, camouflaged and specifically designed to smuggle large quantities of narcotics by decreasing their probability of detection.

The interdictions during this patrol resulted in the apprehension of 15 suspected narcotics traffickers and 4.6 tons of cocaine with a street value of $154 million dollars.

This was the third deployment Seneca has made to the Pacific in the past year.

Coast Guard Cutter Seneca is a 270-foot Medium-Endurance Cutter that was commissioned in 1987. Nearing its 30th year of service, Escanaba and the other 26 aging medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by the new Offshore Patrol Cutter.