The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma (WMEC 908) and crew returned to their homeport in Newport on Tuesday after a 65-day patrol in the Florida Straits.
Tahoma deployed in support of Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast and Operation Vigilant Sentry within the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of responsibility. During the patrol, Tahoma’s crew conducted maritime safety and security missions while working with other Coast Guard cutters to detect, deter, and intercept unsafe and illegal maritime migration ventures bound for the United States.
During the patrol, Tahoma contributed to the care and repatriation of 82 migrants. Tahoma interdicted six vessels bound for the United States. Tahoma also responded to a search and rescue case, assisting a Cuban mariner who had become lost at sea.
“It was an honor to serve as Commander, Command Task Unit 44.7.9 in support of Operation Vigilant Sentry,” said Cmdr. Piero Pecora, commanding officer of Tahoma. “The homeland security task force continues to provide cooperative capability to effectively integrate forces from across the spectrum of DHS, state, and local force providers towards the enduring mission of securing our Southern Maritime Border while safeguarding life at sea.”
HSTF-SE serves as the Department of Homeland Security lead for operational and tactical planning, command, and control, and acts as a standing organization to interdict illegal maritime migration attempts with federal, state, and local partners. HSTF-SE continues enhanced enforcement efforts in support of OVS, the 2004 DHS plan to respond to irregular and unlawful mass maritime migration in the Caribbean Sea and the Florida Straits.
Tahoma is a 270-foot, Famous-class medium endurance cutter. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcement of federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.
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