Below is a D14 news release. The Japanese Cutter referred to, AKITSUSHIM (PLH-32), is one of the largest cutters in the world. It may not look like it in the photo, but it is twice as large as the KIMBALL. Only the Chinese have cutters that are larger.
This is more evidence of the Coast Guard’s continued interest in aiding our Western Pacific allies.
U.S., Japan Coast Guard strengthen capabilities through joint exercise
Editors’ Note: Click on images to download a high-resolution version.
JAPAN — The U.S. Coast Guard concluded a joint law-enforcement exercise Sunday with the Japan Coast Guard in the Philippine Sea, furthering interoperability in performing law-enforcement missions.
This weekend, ships from the U.S. Coast Guard and Japan Coast Guard conducted exercises near the Ogasawara Islands of Japan. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball and Japan Coast Guard Ship Akitsushima, two of the respective services’ newest and most capable vessels, operated alongside helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to practice interdicting foreign vessels operating illegally inside Japanese waters.
“These illegal activities, such as illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, can have a major impact on the fragile marine ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Capt. Holly Harrison, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball. “We always benefit from and enjoy working with our Japanese Coast Guard partners as it enhances our collective ability to respond to any number of maritime threats and challenges.”
The U.S. Coast Guard and Japan Coast Guard have been bolstering each other’s capabilities and effectiveness since the founding of the Japan Coast Guard in 1948. The agencies work together to counter illegal maritime activity and assist foreign maritime agencies in the Indo-Pacific region in improving their own capabilities necessary for maritime law enforcement.
“This exercise reaffirms our long-standing alliance and assures our two coast guards operate seamlessly together,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area. “Together we are committed to safeguarding mariners at sea, preventing destructive illegal fishing and smuggling, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.”