U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton returns home following 111-day Alaskan deployment

U.S. Coast Guard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and crew returned to home port in Alameda, Calif., April 21, 2024. Stratton and crew conducted a 111-day Alaksan deployment to the Bering Sea in support of search and rescue capabilities and protecting the United States’ northern-most borders. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Charly Tautfest)

Alameda, Calif. (KINY) – U.S. Coast Guard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and crew returned to home port in Alameda, Monday, following a 111-day deployment to the Bering Sea in support of search and rescue capabilities and protecting the United States’ northern-most borders.

Stratton and crew departed Alameda January 2, and while deployed, Coast Guard’s Seventeenth District maintained operational control. Congress mandates a continuous presence for search and rescue capabilities in the Bering Sea, and Stratton and crew operated in the harsh environment for 72 days. Stratton was at the forefront of maritime safety and security. The cutter’s presence in the region ensured rapid response to emergencies, safeguarding the lives of Alaskan fishermen.

While deployed in the Alaskan region, Stratton regularly worked with Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak’s MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and aircrews. Stratton completed 363 helicopter landings with Jayhawk crews to conduct training and to enhance the organization’s collective search and rescue capabilities. Helicopter training included shipboard landings, on-deck fueling, and in-flight refueling, in which the cutter passes a fuel hose to the helicopter while it remains airborne.

One of Stratton’s primary missions this patrol was fisheries law enforcement in the Bering Sea. Stratton’s law enforcement teams conducted 18 boardings, in key fishing spots such as Slime Bank, Dutch Harbor, and St. Paul Island. Stratton queried 98 fishing vessels, obtaining critical information to ensure commercial vessels were legally operating in the region. Additionally, Stratton’s boarding team detained an individual aboard a fishing vessel, who was wanted for an active arrest warrant. The individual was transported to local authorities in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Stratton’s law enforcement efforts played a vital role in ensuring the safe operation of Alaskan fishing vessels by enforcing safety regulations and NOAA fisheries regulations. NOAA oversees the management of commercial and recreational fisheries within U.S. waters, aiming to safeguard and promote sustainable fish populations. Alaska’s fisheries are some of the nation’s largest providers of seafood and are a critical component of the U.S. economy. Alaska’s seafood industry averages $5.6 billion in total annual economic activity. The Coast Guard’s efforts in ensuring safe fishing practices are essential to support this vital industry.

“I’m extremely proud of this crew and all they have accomplished. Their expertise and commitment enabled our successful operations” said Capt. Brian Krautler, commanding officer of Stratton. “The Bering Sea is notorious for its harsh conditions, and our presence ensures rapid response to emergencies, safeguarding lives at sea.”

Commissioned in 2012, Stratton is one of four Coast Guard legend-class national security cutters homeported in Alameda, California. National Security Cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide, and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, and can hold a crew of up to 170. National Security Cutters routinely conduct operations throughout the Pacific, where their unmatched combination of range, speed, and ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to conduct vital strategic missions.

The namesake of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton is Capt. Dorothy Stratton, who led the service’s all-female reserve force during World War II. Stratton was the first female commissioned officer in the Coast Guard and commanded more than 10,000 personnel. The ship’s motto is “We can’t afford not to.”