he United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Richard Dixon paid a visit to Antigua and Barbuda to conduct operations in conjunction with the Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard. The cutter’s mission is to conduct interdiction against illicit maritime trafficking activities throughout the Eastern Caribbean during May, and lead the way for future operations.
The cutter was met in Antigua on May 21 by the Senior Defense Official at the U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS, Commander Christopher Boes, and officials from the government of Antigua.
The ship’s visit marks the beginning of future operations in the Eastern Caribbean by USCG cutters based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as part of a larger strategy to combat transnational crime networks, secure borders, and safeguard commerce.
Commander Boes said that strategy hinges upon intelligence sharing with partner nations in the region, as well as stepped-up patrols by cutters like the Richard Dixon. “An offshore capability that maintains operational and persistent presence across the high-risk areas of the Eastern Caribbean is an essential component in achieving success in reaching these goals,” Commander Boes said.
The 154-foot-long USCGC Richard Dixon has a maximum sustained speed of 28 knots, making it ideally suited to fast-response interdiction operations. With a crew of 24, a stabilized 25mm machine gun mount and four .50-caliber machine guns, the ship is a formidable deterrent to illicit trafficking. The Richard Dixon is one of 16 such fast-response cutters deployed by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Richard Dixon will also visit St. Kitts during this patrol.