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.
Nice piece on Stratton’s deployment here: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2015/08/in-the-zone-a-crews-determination-over-the-horizon-part-1/
and part 2 here: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2015/08/in-the-zone-a-crews-determination-over-the-horizon-part-2/
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.
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.
In a way it is more impressive that these are on the 26 foot boats rather than just the NSCs’ long range interceptors.
You should see the electronics on the NSW boats that SWCCs operate. Over the top~
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!
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.
Video of Stratton’s offload in San Diego http://scoopdeck.navytimes.com/2015/08/11/cutter-stratton-returns-with-1-billion-in-cocaine-haul/
This has attracted the attention of a comedy blog, DuffelBlog, that is frequently mistaken for serious news. “CIA Asks Coast Guard For Its Cocaine Back.” http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/08/coast-guard-cocaine-seizure/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=Duffel%20Blog&utm_content=CIA%20Asks%20Coast%20Guard%20For%20Its%20Cocaine%20Back
finders keepers, loved that.
This borders on deceptive advertising, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents along with U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard personnel intercepted a semi-submersible craft carrying more than 16,870 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18.” http://navaltoday.com/2015/07/24/authorities-stop-semi-submersible-craft-carrying-cocaine/
Not good team players.
Another semi-submersible intercepted by CBP aircraft and USCGC Bertholf. http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2602690/
12th and last Long Range Interceptor accepted.