Long Range Interceptor In Action

I would not normally talk about a routine law enforcement action, but this video has some interesting aspects.

Stratton recently intercepted a second semi-submersible, that had been spotted by a Navy patrol aircraft, arresting its four crewmembers and recovering 12,000 pounds of its 16,000 pound cargo of Cocaine, before the semi-submersible sank under tow.

What I wanted to point out in the video was:

First, the instrumentation on the 35 foot Long Range Interceptor ship’s boat (time 1:12). (Correction–I made and error here, this is actually the instrumentation on a 26 foot “Over-the-Horizon (OTH) IV” of which the Coast Guard has procured 101.) It looks a lot like the “glass cockpit” of a modern light plane. Long Range Interceptors are only deployed by the Bertholf class National Security Cutters. (The OTH-IV is operated from the NSCs, WHECs, WMECs, and WPCs. Anyone know if they are also operated from WAGBs and WLBs?)

Second, was the way the boat was recovered in the stern ramp of Stratton (2:25 to 3:00). Note there is no one in the bow to attach the line that will pull the boat up onto the ramp. In 2013 we had a fatality on the Waesche because the automatic capture mechanism was not working properly and Petty Officer Travis Obendorf was on the bow of the boat. You can access the accident report here.

14 thoughts on “Long Range Interceptor In Action

  1. I have made a mistake in the post above. The instrumentation is actually on a 26 foot “Over-the -Horizon IV.” Stratton deployed two boats for this interception.

  2. Either way Chuck, you’re right, it is an impressive array of electronics for a cutter deployed boat. I’m glad they have better tools now. When I was on the Gallatin, we first had a 19′ RHI with twin outboards which was replaced by a single engine I/O Zodiac. Neither of them had ANY electronics. All we had was a generic handheld VHF for comms that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. It’s great to see how much they have available today.

    • I can only imagine what they have. For those missions, I would hope they have anything and everything that is available. I wish the CG had that type of budget!

  3. So I had a random thought today. Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep the dollar amounts of the drugs seized and apply it towards our acquisition budget? It’ll never happen, I know, but still a thought none the less.

  4. 12th and last Long Range Interceptor accepted.

    The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 12th and final long range interceptor II (LRI II) in Charleston, South Carolina, in April. This program delivered one LRI II for each of the first nine national security cutters (NSCs) and a maintenance relief hull for each NSC homeport – Charleston, South Carolina, Alameda, California, and Honolulu.

    The LRIs are supported through the Surface Forces Logistics Center small boat product line as part of the centralized cutter boat pooling program. Through a coordinated cycle of preparing an LRI II for the extended NSC patrols, the Surface Forces Logistic Center has significantly improved their operational availability, similar to improvements that were made on the over the horizon IV (OTH IV) boats through the pooling program.

    Built by MetalCraft Marine US Inc. of Watertown, New York, the first delivery was completed in February 2013. Over the past eight years, the company delivered LRIs, trailers and storage cradles to support maintenance and transportation as well as crew familiarization training.

    At 35 feet long with a semi-enclosed cabin for crew protection, significantly increased seating capacity, dual engines, a range of 240 nautical miles, comparable speed at 40 knots and large cargo capacity, the LRI II provides increased capability that complements the NSC’s two smaller, open cockpit OTHs.

    The LRI II program has been successful in meeting the NSC requirement for a large cutter boat with over-the-horizon capability and stern launch and recovery. A new LRI III program is taking shape to support deliveries to NSCs 10-11 and recapitalization of the LRI IIs as they reach the end of their service life.

    Cutter boats deployed aboard cutters facilitate mission accomplishment in almost all mission areas, with emphasis in search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, living marine resources, defense readiness, and ports, waterway and coastal security.

    For more information: Boat Acquisition program page.

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