“USCG Discloses 90% Interdiction Success Rate For Pursuits Over The Last Three Years” –Naval News

A low-profile go-fast vessel is shown next to the Coast Guard Cutter James in mid-May, 2020 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central America. The James’ crew interdicted 3,100 pounds of cocaine and four suspected smugglers aboard the boat. (U.S. Coast Guard photo.)

Naval News reports the Coast Guard’s response to a question regarding, how the U.S. Coast Guard tackles the problem of high speed pursuits?

Not surprisingly the response pointed out that “… it’s their smaller RHIBs, the Long-Range Interceptor II and the Cutter Boat Over-the-Horizon IV, that often pursue and come close to the (small) high-speed targets.” I might add that includes the 22 foot Cutter Boat Large on WMEC 210s that are not equipped with the larger 26 and 35 foot boats and air-borne use of force is sometimes require to provide disabling fire.

The new information, I had not seen before was, the 90% interdiction rate sited in the title. Of course, as noted, this refers to success once pursuit is initiated. Gross interdiction rates are much much lower.

Each maritime pursuit chase is unique, and factors such as ambient lighting and sea state, target speed and actions, and the target’s proximity to land directly influence interdiction results. Despite these myriad factors, the Coast Guard has an approximately 90% interdiction success rate, once starting pursuit operations, over the last three years. (emphasis applied–Chuck) Enhanced pursuit capabilities, including unmanned aerial surveillance, in combination with changes in pursuit tactics, like airborne use of force, and refinement of tactical geometry assessments may have increased the recent level of interdiction success,” Lieutenant Kneen said.

2 thoughts on ““USCG Discloses 90% Interdiction Success Rate For Pursuits Over The Last Three Years” –Naval News

  1. I’d be curious how that compares historically to past efforts. Technology and surveillance certainly are far better today then it was before. I can remember times when we didn’t even have a functioning handheld radio on the RHI/

    • I think the real breakthrough was the acceptance of airborne use of force. You could build a boat that could outrun our boats, but you could not build a boat that would outrun our helicopters.

      I suspect many of the 10% that got away were in cases where there was no airborne use of force helicopter available. This is more likely in the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico where FRCs and 210s now do most of the drug interdiction. Many times their air support is fixed wing and we don’t have any ability to provide disabling fire from fixed wing aircraft.

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