By Dialogo June 15, 2012 MIAMI, U.S.A. – The crew of the 378-foot Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin returned to its homeport of Charleston, S.C., on June 7 after successfully taking part in Operation Martillo, a multinational effort to curtail illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus. During its 91-day patrol, the Gallatin crew worked to disrupt drug running in the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits. The Gallatin crew worked alongside members of the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron based in Jacksonville, Fla. Gallatin crewmembers conducted four law enforcement-related boardings during the course of the cutter’s patrol, including a joint boarding with the Nicaraguan Navy. The 44-year-old Gallatin and 11 other original Secretary-class, high-endurance cutters, are being replaced by eight Legend-class, National Security Cutters (NCS). The NCSs are faster, better equipped and more durable, efficient and safer than their predecessors, according to the Coast Guard. As the Coast Guard’s last Hamilton-class cutter stationed on the East Coast, the Gallatin is the largest and most capable Coast Guard vessel patrolling the Caribbean Sea. The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, and partner nation aircraft and vessel crews work together to conduct counter-narcotics patrols in the Caribbean Sea. Belize, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in Operation Martillo, which started in mid-January.