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Press Release | May 31, 2024

US Coast Guard Cutter Seneca returns home after a two-month patrol in the Windward Passage and Florida Straits

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Seneca (WMEC 906) returned to their home port in Portsmouth, May 21, 2024, following a 58-day migrant interdiction patrol in the Windward Passage and Florida Straits.

Seneca’s crew deployed in support of Homeland Security Task Force - Southeast (HSTF-SE) and Operation Vigilant Sentry (OVS) while at sea in the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of operations.

Patrolling off the coast of Haiti and southern Florida Straits, Seneca’s presence helped deter migrants from taking to the sea in unsafe vessels to ensure the safety of life at sea and protect the maritime borders of the United States.

While at sea, Seneca worked with a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew and responded to an international search and rescue case involving an overboard passenger who fell from a cruise ship.

During the deployment, Seneca’s crew had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Fleet Week 2024 in Miami, Florida in early May. Crew members conducted nearly 1,000 public tours over a six-day period, showcasing the U.S. Coast Guard, cutter Seneca, and the service’s missions. Seneca hosted numerous VIPs aboard to include Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, local and state politicians.

“It’s been an honor leading Seneca and her crew, serving alongside the best and brightest women and men in the service,” said Capt. James F. McCormack, commanding officer of Seneca. “Seneca and her crew provided stability in the maritime environment of the South Florida Straits and represented the Coast Guard with distinction amongst the other U.S. maritime services at Fleet Week Miami. Seneca lived up to our motto, “Tradition of Honor, A Legacy of Action.””

While deployed, Seneca’s crew transited over 9,000 nautical miles.

Established in 2003, HSTF-SE is the Department of Homeland Security-led interagency task force charged with directing operational and tactical planning, command and control, and functions as a standing organization to deter, mitigate, and respond to maritime mass migration in the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits. 

OVS is the 2004 DHS plan that provides the structure for deploying joint air and surface assets and personnel to respond to irregular maritime migration in the Caribbean corridor of the United States. Its primary objectives are to protect life at sea while deterring and dissuading mass maritime migration alongside our federal, state, and local partners.  

Seneca is a 270-foot, Famous-class medium endurance cutter. The cutter’s primary missions are counter drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcement of laws and treaties, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

For information on how to join the U.S. Coast Guard, visit to learn more about active duty and reserve, officer and enlisted opportunities. Information on how to apply to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy can be found here

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