Previous Ships Called Steadfast

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The United States Coast Guard Cutter STEADFAST (WMEC 623) had proudly served the people of the United States for over 30 years. Commissioned in 1968, STEADFAST was home ported in St. Petersburg, Florida for her first 24 years of service. In 1992, she was decommissioned for Major Maintenance Availability (MMA) to extend her service another 25 years. Following MMA in February 1994, STEADFAST was re-commissioned and home ported in Astoria, Oregon.

STEADFAST had an illustrious record. Since commissioning in 1968, STEADFAST had completed over 330 Search and Rescue cases, interdicted over 1.6 million pounds of marijuana and 27,700 pounds of cocaine, seized over 65 vessels, and stopped over 3500 undocumented migrants on the high seas from entering the United States. STEADFAST was the first, and one of only two cutters awarded the gold marijuana leaf, symbolizing one million pounds of marijuana seized. Legend holds STEADFAST was named "El Tiburon Blanco" (Spanish for "The White Shark") by Colombian drug smugglers in the 1970's for being such a nemesis to their illegal drug operations. The crew used the symbol of "El Tiburon Blanco" as one of their logos to epitomize STEADFAST's aggressive law enforcement posture.

STEADFAST was also under the OPCON and ADCON of COMPACAREA. As a Coast Guard resource, they were deployed anywhere along the western seaboard of North and Central America. Their primary operational areas were divided into three regions - D11, D13 and JIAFTW. During D13 patrols, they operated off the Oregon and Washington coast out to usually no more than 200 nautical miles. Their main emphasis while on D13 patrols was enforcing living marine resource laws and regulations (fisheries). D11 patrols focused on detecting and interdicting drug and migrant smuggling activity along the Southern California coast and the Northern to Central West Coast of Mexico. JIATFW patrols were strictly counter-drug operations along the West Coast of Central and Southern Mexico and Central America. Another region they were called upon to assist was D17 for Alaska fisheries enforcement.