The crew of the 378-ft. Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin returned to their homeport of Charleston, S.C. Sunday after a three-month deployment to the Caribbean Sea in support of Operations New Frontier and Frontier Shield.
During their patrol, Gallatin crewmembers intercepted two boats involved in human smuggling, conducted counter-narcotics operations with the Coast Guard Cutter Dallas
and completed a joint fueling at sea with the British oil tanker Oakleaf.
Just a few days into their patrol, Gallatin’s bridge crew located an unlighted 20-foot boat with three people on board four miles off the coast of St. Croix Sept. 15. A Gallatin law enforcement team boarded the vessel. Boarding team members located information that lead them to believe the people on board the vessel were involved in migrant smuggling. The case was turned over to the crew of the cutter Manitou who continued the investigation. Immigration and Naturalization Services later arrested all three persons in St. Croix.
Cutter Gallatin also intercepted an unseaworthy 30-foot boat with 32 Dominican Republic migrants aboard Sept. 20 off the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. The migrants were placed on board Gallatin where they received food, water and medical attention, if necessary. The migrants were later transferred to the Dominican Republic naval vessel Orion for further transfer back to the Dominican Republic.
During the remainder of the patrol Gallatin worked in conjunction with the Cutter Dallas in support of Operation New Frontier. Operation New Frontier is the Coast Guard’s newest counter-drug initiative that combines Coast Guard cutters, armed helicopters, and Over the Horizon Cutter Boats into a single force package that can be used to counter the "go-fast" vessel smuggling threat. This past patrol was Gallatin’s fourth as part of Operation New Frontier.