1990 – CASA 212-300 Light Transport Aircraft Obtained
The Coast Guard leased a CASA 212-300 as a utility aircraft to provide lower cost logistic support for the drug and alien interdiction programs that were conducted in the Caribbean area. The primary mission of the 212 was to transport personnel and equipment to remote locations without readily available commercial transportation. The aircraft had a high volume cabin with a rear loading ramp. The variable costs for the CASA-212 were approximately $300/hr versus $1,500/hr for the HU-25 and $2,000/hr for the C-130’s.
The aircraft was based out of Air Station Miami. Scheduled flights to the Guantanamo AVDET delivered Coast Guard personnel traveling on orders plus assorted ship and aircraft parts, mail, and miscellaneous supplies. OPBAT was supported. The aircraft’s short landing and take-off (STOL) capabilities made virtually any runway an option. Material for shipboard and deployed HH-52 operations could be transported to secondary airfields and picked up by ship helicopter. The cutters also requested drop-offs in George Town and Great Inagua.
Additionally the aircraft was used to transport Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) personnel and was used in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Cocaine and marijuana from seizures as well as prisoners for Customs and the DEA were regularly transported.
Because of the multiple mission functions, this aircraft played a part in the restoration of the elected Haitian government beginning in September 1994. Operation Restore Freedom, known by several names, was originally planned as a forced invasion but it became a permissive entry operation. For a period of ten days prior to the scheduled invasion the CG Casa made trips into Port au Prince taking pictures of the surrounding area and then proceeding to Guantanamo Bay Cuba where the pictures were relayed back to Washington D.C.
Even though the aircraft was instrumental in greatly improving the logistics operations the lease was terminated because of budget shortfalls.
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||AlliedSignal TPE 331 10R
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