The Coast Guard cutter Mohawk returns Sept. 12 to its home port of Key West, after three months in Africa. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mohawk returned on Sept. 12 to its home port of Key West after a 92-day deployment to Africa that started with an escort trip to Bahrain.

Kids, spouses, siblings and friends of Mohawk crew members held signs while watching the 270-foot ship pull up to its dock at Coast Guard Sector Key West at Trumbo Point.

“Is that Daddy’s boat? Where is he?” asked one tiny Coast Guard supporter while the ship backed into port. 

Mohawk began its deployment by leading the trans-Atlantic escort of two newly commissioned 154-foot cutters from Key West to Bahrain, according to a Coast Guard press release.

“While on deployment, Mohawk made significant advances combating illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing by conducting multinational law enforcement operations at sea in the Atlantic Basin. Their efforts strengthened relationships with African nations, the release states.

“Mohawk’s crew also worked closely with eight partner nation navies, sailing nearly 19,000 nautical miles in support of American interests abroad. Leading training exercises at-sea and in port, Mohawk hosted diplomatic engagements and participated in community relations events during port visits to Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. Mohawk was the first U.S. warship to moor in the Gambia since 1994,” states the Coast Guard release.

“I am extremely proud of this crew and all they have accomplished over the last three months,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer of Mohawk. “We are operating in a global Coast Guard and Mohawk’s ability to deploy across the Atlantic Ocean and work alongside our European and Atlantic African partners to combat piracy and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing drives home the United States’ commitment to security, stability and prosperity in the region.”

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.