PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Reliance (WMEC-615) arrived Monday at the cutter’s new homeport in Pensacola following a dry dock and Caribbean patrol.
The Reliance crew oversaw repairs to the cutter followed by migrant repatriation efforts in the Windward Pass supporting Coast Guard 7th District operations.
The cutter and crew departed their former homeport at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine on July 6, sailing for the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., to effect repairs to the propulsion shafts. On Aug. 5, the crew sailed from the Coast Guard Yard to begin a patrol of the Windward Pass between Cuba, the Bahamas and Haiti, alongside interagency and international partners to prevent dangerous, illegal maritime migration.
The patrol included the repatriation of 16 Haitian migrants, participation in a search for survivors of a capsized Haitian vessel, shipboard training and storm avoidance.
“Reliance’s departure from Kittery, Maine brings an end to 31 years of faithful service in the North Atlantic,” said Cmdr. Robert Hill, commanding officer of the cutter Reliance. “The crew has performed exceptionally during our patrol amidst the challenges faced by COVID-19 and multiple tropical storms that arose. I could not be prouder of this crew and know that we are ready to continue our service in Pensacola, where the Coast Guard has strategically clustered part of its 210-foot cutter fleet for logistical support and proximity to our mission area of responsibility.”
The homeport shift to Pensacola marks the second time Reliance has been homeported in Florida; Reliance was homeported in Port Canaveral from 1982-1987.
The Reliance is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter. It is the first of the 210-foot medium endurance cutter fleet and the fourth Revenue Cutter/Coast Guard cutter to bear the name Reliance. The cutter’s primary missions are counter drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.