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PORTSMOUTH -- The crew of the Portsmouth-based Coast Guard Cutter Bear returned home Wednesday following a two-month counter-drug patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

During the patrol, Bear traveled to South America in support of three separate operations focused on stemming the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.

The cutter provided support to the HNLMS Van Amstel, a Royal Netherlands Naval vessel, which seized more than 1,800 pounds of cocaine and transferred the detainees and drugs to the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bear.

The crew also participated in Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Carib Venture and Operation Martillo.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bear, along with the service's 26 other medium endurance cutters, is slated to be replaced by a new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will have the endurance to operate more than 50 miles offshore to carry out the Coast Guard's maritime security and safety missions.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma recently took possession of the cutter Bear while the cutter Tahoma is in dry dock for planned maintenance.

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