USCGC Decisive (WMEC 629)
Pensacola, FL


Decisive was first commissioned at the Coast Guard Yard on August 23, 1968, under Commander Eugene Delaney, USCG. Decisive is a 210' medium endurance cutter. Originally, homeported in New Castle, New Hampshire, Decisive was a familiar sight to the New England fisheries community. From 1968-1982, the crews of Decisive aided mariners in distress, towed disabled trawlers and fishing boats to safety, enforced the 200 mile marine resource zone and participated in the International Ice Patrol in the North Atlantic.

During her time in the Northeast United States, Decisive was cited for her crew's dedication during three difficult rescue missions in a severe winter storm in 1978. She also rescued crewmembers of the Canadian S/V TOBERUA after it foundered in 40-foot seas and 60-knot winds. In April 1977, Decisive executed the first seizure of a Soviet trawler for violating the newly established 200-mile marine resource zone.

In 1982, Vice President Bush ordered the transfer of Decisive to St. Petersburg, Florida as part of the drug interdiction initiative. In 14 years from this new homeport, Decisive interdicted and seized more than 125 tons of cocaine and marijuana. One of the most exciting seizures was the F/V CONE, a Colombian fishing boat that refused to heave to as ordered in April 1982. Failing to stop the CONE by fouling its propeller and flooding its engine compartments with fire hoses; Decisive received permission to fire more than 300 rounds of .50 cal into the CONE's engine compartment, thus disabling the vessel. Once onboard, Decisive's boarding team discovered over 100 bales of marijuana, with a street value of $31 million.

Decisive was also instrumental in Operation ABLE MANNER/ABLE VIGIL -- the stemming of the Haitian and Cuban mass exodus. For her part, Decisive rescued more than 2500 migrants, whose shoddy, jury-rigged vessels were barely seaworthy. In November of 1995, Decisive executed the second largest migrant interdiction in history by intercepting a 75' freighter overloaded with 516 Haitians.

In September of 1996, Decisive entered the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, for its Major Maintenance Availability. This extensive two year overhaul saw the removal of Decisive's original stern exhaust system and the addition of an exhaust stack at the front of the flight deck. The Coast Guard Yard completely stripped Decisive of all internal parts and furniture, replacing them with new or refurbished equipment. The original SPS-64 cathode tube-based radar system has been replaced by a modern SPS-73 digital radar, similarly, the electronics and communications suite has been upgraded as well.

She was the last of the 210' medium endurance cutters to undertake this mid-life retrofit. On October 9, 1998, she rejoined the fleet in her new homeport of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Since that time, Decisive has had an impressive operational resume, including the interdiction of the MN CASTOR, resulting in a seizure of 10,000 lbs. of cocaine, of the largest in Coast Guard history.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Decisive assumed tactical command of Mississippi Coastal Recovery Base Gulfport and coordinated the efforts of all Coast Guard units in the area conducting response, recovery and search operations throughout the Gulf Coast. In addition, Decisive's crew reached out to the community providing additional law enforcement presence and assisting at food shelters and safe houses during this challenging time.

In October 2007, Decisive underwent a 7 month modernization project as part of the Coast Guard’s Mission Effectiveness Program (MEP).  During this period, Decisive received numerous upgrades to her auxiliary and command, control and communications systems that will allow her to continue to operate for an additional 15 to 20 years

At the end of the day, Decisive is just one more highly trained and equipped asset executing the Coast Guard's primary missions. We stand ready to answer the call to those in need, all the while protecting and serving America's citizens and saving lives where no one else can.

Decisive continues to repeat and make history by interdicting migrants, conducting search and rescue, counter narcotic operations and performing homeland security missions. Most recently, Decisive played a significant role in the response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the largest oil disaster in American History.


Length Overall

Maximum Breadth




Maximum Speed

Fuel Capacity










210 feet 06 inches

34 feet

1110 tons

18 feet

6,500 nautical miles

18 knots

49,625 gallons









Crew Billets

Officers 12
Enlisted 63


24 ft Cutter Boat Large

23 ft Over The Horizon Boat


25 mm machine gun

.50 caliber machine guns

M-16 rifles and .40 caliber pistols


Twin 16 cylinder ALCO diesel

5,000 total shaft horse power