“Coast Guard cutters begin Operation Aiga in Oceania” –D14

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper (WLB 201) return to Honolulu after completing a 45-day patrol in Oceania in support of Operation ‘Aiga, Oct. 1, 2021. The Juniper is a 225-foot Juniper-Class seagoing buoy tender home-ported in Honolulu, the crew is responsible for maintaining aids to navigation, performing maritime law enforcement, port, and coastal security, search and rescue and environmental protection. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Juniper)

Below is a D14 news release. These long distance/long duration operations pairing a buoy tender (WLB) and a Webber class WPC are getting to be fairly routine.

Buoy tenders are proving to be good PC tenders as well. This is a good demonstration of the multi-mission nature of Coast Guard buoy tenders and support for the contention that the buoy tender function should not be passed off to some other agency or outsourced.

Wonder if they might be able to support more than one patrol craft at a time?

(The photo in the news release below is of a different Juniper class WLB, USCGC Elm)

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific

Coast Guard cutters begin Operation Aiga in Oceania

 

Editors’ Note: Click on Coast Guard stock images to download a high-resolution version.

HONOLULU — The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper (WLB 201) and Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) will aim to extend the Coast Guard’s at-sea enforcement presence in the region through a 40-day patrol.

“Aiga,” the Samoan word for family, is designed to integrate Coast Guard capabilities and operations with Pacific Island Country (PIC) partners in order to protect shared national interests, combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and strengthen maritime governance in Oceania.

“Responsible fisheries management is vital to the Pacific’s well-being, prosperity, and security,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Conway, the 14th District’s current operations officer. “The Coast Guard is an adaptable, responsive military force of maritime professionals whose broad legal authorities, capable assets, and expansive partnerships provide a persistent presence throughout our exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and on the high seas.”

IUU fishing operates outside the rules adopted at the national and international level. It threatens the ocean’s ecosystem, food security, and economic growth around the world by undercutting law-abiding fishermen and communities that depend on fish and fish products.

“An essential protein source for more than 40% of the world’s population, fish stocks are critical to maritime sovereignty and resource security of many nations,” said Cmdr. Christopher Jasnoch, the Juniper’s commanding officer.

As part of Operation Blue Pacific 2022, the crews of the Juniper and Joseph Gerczak will conduct information sharing activities to advance the U.S.’s bilateral and cultural relationships with Melanesia and Polynesia.

The Coast Guard regularly exercises bilateral shiprider agreements with partner nations. These agreements help to host foreign law enforcement personnel to better exercise their authority; closing any global maritime law enforcement gaps, improve cooperation, coordination, and interoperability.

Operation Blue Pacific is an overarching multi-mission Coast Guard endeavor seeking to promote maritime security, safety, sovereignty, and economic prosperity in Oceania while also strengthening relationships with our partners in the region.

“To ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, the U.S. remains committed to strengthening regional alliances and enhancing emerging partnerships,” said Lt. Joseph Blinsky, Joseph Gerczak’s commanding officer. “Leading global deterrence efforts, the Coast Guard likewise remains committed to combating IUU fishing and our crews look forward to collaborating with PICs to better address this growing national security concern.”

1 thought on ““Coast Guard cutters begin Operation Aiga in Oceania” –D14

  1. The operation is over.

    News Release
    U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific

    Coast Guard cutters conclude Operation Aiga in Oceania

    HONOLULU — The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Juniper and Joseph Gerczak returned to Honolulu after completing a 42-day patrol in Oceania in support of Operation Aiga, March 7, 2022.

    Both crews deployed on a combined 14,000-mile patrol to provide maritime support and patrol coverage for Samoa and American Samoa’s exclusive economic zones as well as conducted joint-training operations with the Armed Forces in French Polynesia.

    Operation “Aiga,” the Samoan word for family, is designed to integrate Coast Guard capabilities and operations with Pacific Island County partners in order to effectively and efficiently protect shared international interests, combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and strengthen maritime governance in Oceania.

    “The Coast Guard remains committed to combating IUU fishing as fish stocks remain a critical component to maritime sovereignty and resource security for many nations, especially those in the Pacific,” said Cmdr. Jeff Bryant, chief of enforcement for Coast Guard District Fourteen. “The Juniper and Joseph Gerczak were able to establish stability for our partners on the high seas and while patrolling their EEZs in support of Operation Aiga.”

    While underway, both cutters conducted hoist training with French Dauphin N3 helicopter crews designed to increase interoperability on the high seas. Additionally, both cutter commanding officers met with Rear Adm. Jean-Matthieu Rey, commander of Armed Forces in French Polynesia, in Tahiti to discuss the importance of regional maritime security partnerships to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.

    “We had the privilege to integrate our capabilities and strengthen existing partnerships with the French, while protecting global resources on the high seas and exclusive economic zones of our regional partners,” said Cmdr. Christopher Jasnoch, commanding officer of the Juniper. “I am extremely proud of the crew of Juniper for their hard work preparing for this patrol, resiliency in overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 and their dedication to protecting national interests in Oceania while modeling professional maritime behavior to our partners and competitors.”

    Additionally, the Juniper and Joseph Gerczak crews helped fill an operational presence, conducting security patrols in Samoa’s EEZ throughout the month of February to protect fisheries and other natural resources while Samoa’s Nafanua II patrol boat was down.

    The Joseph Gerczak made an inaugural visit in Pape’ete, Tahiti, marking the first time a Coast Guard fast response cutter conducted vital port calls on the island.

    “Although Coast Guard missions, new cutters, and adventure make serving afloat attractive, the top incentive remains having the opportunity to serve alongside the most talented and humble men and women our country has to offer,” said Lt. Joseph Blinsky, commanding officer of the Joseph Gerczak. “Without the skill and hard work from Joseph Gerczak’s crew, our more than 2,300 NM transit to Tahiti from Honolulu would not have been possible. Coupled with first-class support from District 14, Sector Honolulu, and Juniper, made executing this expeditionary patrol a reality.”

    The Juniper is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Honolulu and is responsible for maintaining aids to navigation, performing maritime law enforcement, port and coastal security, search and rescue, and environmental protection.

    FRCs, like the Joseph Gerczak, are outfitted with advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment and are designed as multi-mission platforms ranging from maritime law enforcement to search and rescue.

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