Cutter to Return to Mobile

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is scheduled to return to Coast Guard Base Mobile, Ala., Thursday at about 1 p.m. The crew of Cypress deployed to Haiti Feb. 26 in support of Operation Able Sentry, the U.S. government's response to increased migration from Haiti, following Haiti's domestic unrest. While deployed, the crew took part in a variety of missions, including: alien migrant interdiction; law enforcement; aids to navigation; assisting the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team 91104, based out of Galveston, Texas; as well as assisting the U.S. Marines and the Haitian coast guard. The crew created a safer route on waterways in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, Haiti, by establishing about 25 aids to navigation, both shoreside and afloat. This navigation system allowed for a safe and navigable passage for stabilization forces from the United States, France, Canada and Chile. Additionally, the crew's efforts provided for a waterborne commerce system in and out of Haiti. The crew also helped to rebuild the Haitian coast guard base. "Given the short notice of this deployment, the crew responded superbly," said Cmdr. Duke Walker, commanding officer of the Cypress. "Throughout this operation, the crew of the Cypress maintained the highest degree of professionalism and morale, putting in day after day of exhausting hours," he added. The Cypress departed Haiti April 13. The Mobile-based Cypress, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender, was commissioned in October 2002. The mixed-gender crew of 47 Coast Guardsmen is responsible for ensuring the proper operation of aids to navigation from Apalachicola, Fla., to the Mexican border.

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