We mentioned this incident in passing in last week's series, specifically at the tail-end of Part III (relax, Gentle Readers, we're done with the topic per se), but the incident went viral, and it deserves a fuller exploration.
Coastie courage and bravery: 5 stars.
Coastie common sense: 0. Out of a possible 10. (I may even be giving them too much credit, at that.)
One or two outbound AK rounds from the conning tower, and we're recovering wounded men down, in the open sea, with 50 pounds of tactical gear on them.
That'll turn out well.
And probably giving their families an empty coffin, just to make the cutter's captain look good, and buff up the seizure stats for WMSL-755 Munro.
For no other good and sufficient reasons.
Geebus Crispies, Puddle Pirates, if you're going to get that tacc'ed up, how about you give your boarding crew an M-203 per boat (or even an "obsolete" M-79), and a bag of HEDP rounds (this is mainly 1965 technology, BTW), lay off about 50-60 yards, and do some 'splaining to Capitan Pinche Cabron about maritime law, and the universal signal to "heave to".
If perchance the conning tower and pilot explode in a pink mist, and the crew, vessel, and contraband ship too much water, well...how very unfortunate.
And as someone on the Interwebz whose name/blog escapes me noted at the time, perhaps someone should introduce to the Coast Guard small craft crews those remarkable inventions from about 70 years ago, known as loudhailers and bullhorns. (That would be NSN 5830-00-412-9206, and about 40-60 bucks with free shipping on Amazon now.) They have to beat yelling over two vessels' full-out engines across 50 yards of open ocean, we suspect. We're even pretty sure they even have them on most cabin cruisers nowadays, so maybe someone at DHS could find the lads a spare $60@ and buy up a few dozen of them, and pass them out. They might come in handy, again. Just saying.
OTOH, a couple incoming 57mm rounds from the cutter to the conning tower and aft engine compartment, and the Coasties can sail away, and let the semi-submersible become fully submersible, once; get rid of just as many drugs; and save us the ongoing costs of a trial, room, and board for five expendable narco-douchebags.
Make that official policy, for national security reasons, and it ceases to be fun for Pedro and his compadres. Boo frickin' hoo.
The subs, built for about $1M, are single-use disposable, because as noted, they bring in 200X their cost in profits for every successful trip. Sink them, and they cost us about $500 in ammunition, a few grand in bunker fuel, and the targeting crew hones their gunnery skills.
Better yet, leave the surface ships out of this, have the spotter/obs aircraft drop a Mk54 up their ass, and let the cutter continue routine maritime patrol. No chase, no jumping onto moving narco-subs, no bother at all. A splash, a flash, and a hole in the ocean. One and done. Victory barrel roll, and off to find the next one, or back to base for cold beer and hot women at the club.
Have the cutter find the mother ships out on the open ocean, the ones who provide them with refuel facilities on their long doglegs to the US Pacific coast.
(In fact, why we aren't finding, tracking, and taking those ships out with our remaining SSNs, simply for the practice, is an open mystery. It's no more complicated than putting pirates and drug smugglers into the same category under international law, and declaring open season on them: they may be killed wherever and whenever found, by anyone, without penalty. Being outside the law means being beyond its protection, in toto. Sauce for the gander.)
Problem solved, permanently.
Either way, recidivism for Capitan Pinche Cabron and the crew of the barco Mierda: 0%, forever.
And the cartel is out $1M in boat, and a quarter billion in dope, in about a minute.
Let civilians sign up to go out and hunt them with their legal civilian .50BMGs and fresh Letters Of Marque, and the waiting list for slots will be full through next December. And you'll never find a president more likely to sign them than this one.
Like I said, x1000, we're not fighting a War on drugs, we're running a federal jobs program.