Smugglers shooting at the Coast Guard–Not a Trend We Want to Encourage

ESCANABA has released a statement about an incident in which her boarding party was fired upon by suspected smugglers.

In this case, the boarding party was “over the horizon” from ESCANABA. This highlights a potential concern in using this capability. When a cutter is clearly in view, it’s got to be rather intimidating. Smugglers can see, if there is a fight, they will lose. When both the boarding party and the smugglers are over the horizon, the odds look much more even, particularly if the smuggler feels escape is near by.

Perhaps a helicopter in support, particularly if it is equipped with an obviously devastating weapon, would restore a proper imbalance in our favor.