Coast Guard Cutter Midgett recently returned from an international patrol which saw the cutter intercept a drug sub carrying approximately 6,000 kilograms, or more than 13,000 pounds, of cocaine. Midgett, a 378-foot high endurance cutter, was participating in joint operations with Central and South American partner countries to intercept vessels smuggling narcotics towards the U.S. and Mexico when the cutter intercepted the self-propelled semi-submersible vessel more than 335 miles off the coast of Costa Rica.
With Midgett in port, Coast Guard Compass reached out to Cmdr. Daniel Pickles, executive officer aboard CGC Midgett, to talk about the valuable role long range cutters play in the Coast Guard fleet.
“High endurance cutters play an integral role in providing safety and security to the United States,” said Pickles. “With their increased range, endurance and capabilities they are able to extend the area of maritime protection and security.”
Midgett was the 12th, and last, high endurance cutter commissioned by the Coast Guard in 1972. HEC’s can be spotted around the world and have spent the past 40 years working side-by-side with the world’s navies and coast guards on patrols that last as long as six months at a time. While the Coast Guard’s 12 HEC’s are ultimately scheduled to be decommissioned and replaced by the 418-foot National Security Cutters, they continue to serve as some of the most recognizable and versatile ships on the world’s seas.
“They provide a capable asset to work with the U.S. and foreign Navies to enhance interoperability and training,” said Pickles. “Additionally, HEC’s provide a U.S. presence on the high seas that can quickly respond not only to security threats, but also provide Search and Rescue capabilities and increase Maritime Domain Awareness.”