U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley.

The crew of Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley returned to homeport in Kodiak on Thursday, following an 85-day deployment throughout the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. 

The crew patrolled more than 11,000 miles for approximately three months. It safeguarded a $5.9 billion fishing industry and enabled search and rescue coverage in an area spanning 890,000 square miles.

The Alex Haley is a 282-foot Medium Endurance Cutter that has been homeported in Kodiak since 1999. 

During the patrol, the Alex Haley crew conducted 20 boardings in partnership with six different fisheries.

In addition to patrolling the Maritime Boundary Line, the Alex Haley crew joined the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel, Kashima, for a high-latitude exercise in early September. The two vessels completed tactical formation maneuvering and visual communication exercises. 

On Aug. 26, Russian naval vessels and aircraft participating in the Russian military exercise Ocean Shield without authority directed U.S. fishing vessels that were legally fishing within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to leave. Alex Haley went to the exercise area within the EEZ to provide U.S. military presence, gather information on the incident, and educate the fishing fleet on U.S. sovereign rights.  Alex Haley boarded four of the five fishing vessels known to have interacted with the Russian Navy. 

"Despite the extraordinary challenges imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the crew of the Alex Haley displayed remarkable perseverance throughout the duration of the patrol,” said Capt. Benjamin Golightly, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley. “While nearly three months away from home can be daunting, the enthusiasm, maturity and dedication from all hands made this patrol a resounding success.”

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