The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) returned home to Alameda on Veteran’s Day (Sunday, Nov. 11) at 10 a.m., as planned. The vessel and crew had been out at sea for 144 days passed through the Alameda-Oakland Estuary at around 9 a.m. in calm conditions.
The nation’s first National Security Cutter left Hawaii on June 20 to participate in the world’s largest naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific 2012. According to the USCG, “RIMPAC’s mission is to increase interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces to promote stability and prosperity around the world.” There were 22 countries involved in the naval exercises, which included maritime interdiction and vessel boarding evolutions.
As the primary cutter in support of Operation Arctic Shield, Bertholf staff conducted community outreach and increased maritime safety and security in the Arctic Circle. In the Bering Sea, they engaged in living marine resource enforcement and conducted 12 boardings of red king crab fishing vessels.
“We pressed the multi-mission capabilities of the National Security Cutter in the world’s largest maritime exercise, in the harshest of maritime environments in the Arctic, and in the Bering Sea ensuring regulation and safety of the Deadliest Catch Crab fleet,” said Capt. Thomas Crabbs, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, in a statement. “The ship and crew performed in superb fashion over an extended and challenging period.”