PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence made its way to its new home port this morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Diligence, a 210-foot vessel with a crew of about 75 Guardsman, left its a home port in Wilmington, North Carolina in May. From there, it went on a 64-day patrol in the Caribbean, near Cuba and Haiti, before heading to its new home port at NAS Pensacola.
Diligence Cmdr. Luke Slivinski said it was bittersweet to leave North Carolina, but he was happy for the opportunities at NAS Pensacola.
“We’re really excited to be mooring up here in Pensacola for our first time and to call naval air station our home,” Slivinski said. “We can’t thank the community enough.”
Dilligence’s primary mission is search and rescue, counter-migration, and counter-drugs operations, as well as enforcement of laws and treaties.
Slivinski said the Dillgence crew typically patrols anywhere in the Caribbean, “from the eastern pacific to the Windward Islands to Windward Pass.”
“We could go Gulf of Mexico all the way up to the east coast to Maine,” he said.
NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Kinsella said the Coast Guard has been in Pensacola since 1858.
“We’ve always had a relationship with the Coast Guard,” Kinsella said. “Maybe what’s different is the Coast Guard is bringing their cutters here.”
NAS Pensacola is the home port of four Coast Guard cutters, including the Decisive, Dauntless, Cypress and now Diligence.
“It’s new for the Coast Guard to put them all in the same place instead of having them in different places across the coast,” Kinsella said. “We’re really excited about having them here. It’s just one more way we’re solidifying the relationship with the Coast Guard. We’re partners in the sea services.”
Kinsella said the cutters being using Pensacola as a port allows them to have a bigger reach in their missions.
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