The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to Wilmington on Saturday, following a 42-day patrol in the Caribbean and the announcement that it would soon be decommissioned.
“USCGC Diligence has a long history of serving many important missions since she was commissioned 54 years ago – 27 years of which she called the Port City ‘home,’ ’ said U.S. Rep David, R-N.C.. “As one of the oldest ships in her fleet, Diligence is reaching the end of her service life and therefore will head to Pensacola, Florida in 2020 with other cutters to ultimately be decommissioned. On behalf of our entire community, I am grateful for her service to Southeastern North Carolina and appreciate the Coast Guard’s continued presence and steadfast commitment to our area, including the $6.7 million repair to the bulkhead which is essential to the City of Wilmington’s plan to revitalize the waterfront.”
While no cutters are scheduled to replace Diligence in its current location, Lieutenant Commander Scott McBride of U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs said the Coast Guard will continue to have a strong relationship with Wilmington.
“Coast Guard Cutter Diligence has been a part of the Wilmington community for over 25 years,” said Lieutenant Commander Scott McBride of U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs. Wilmington will remain a designated Coast Guard City, and home to Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. Diligence is over 50 years old and will be decommissioned in the coming years. Diligence’s move prepares the Service to welcome its newest ships, the Offshore Patrol Cutter. The new Offshore Patrol Cutters are 360 feet in length and unfortunately the cutters cannot be maintained at the existing facilities in downtown Wilmington.
Last month, the crew of the Diligence performed counter-drug operations and participated in international engagements in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South.
In concert with JIATF South, the crew of the Diligence worked alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to illegal maritime migration and narcotic smuggling from Central and South America. The crew of the Diligence facilitated the transport of six suspected drug-smugglers, 1,200 pounds of marijuana and 50 kilograms of cocaine apprehended by other Coast Guard assets.
The crewmembers of the Diligence also conducted an Engagement Coincidental to Operations with the Honduran Navy in Roatán, Honduras. The crew shared their expertise in engineering and law enforcement with the Honduran Navy.
“The crew of Diligence adapted and worked together to achieve operational success while enhancing key partnerships in Central America,” said Commander Robert S. Mohr, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence. “I am extremely proud and truly impressed with the crew’s unwavering devotion to duty throughout this dynamic patrol.”
Coast Guard Cutter Diligence is a 54-year-old 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Wilmington. The Diligence’s primary missions consist of counter-drug and migrant interdiction, federal fisheries enforcement, and search and rescue.
The U.S. Coast Guard contributed to this report.