CIMSEC has a post advocating stationing Webber class WPCs in America Samoa.
We did talk about this earlier and I came to the same conclusion, but this article talks about something I did not.
President Biden is considering expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine Monument (PRIMNM). A major concern of the initiative (besides that it harshly impedes indigenous fishers), is it may allow foreign illegal fishing to take stronger hold inside U.S. Exclusive Economic Zones. Hawai’i Council member Matt Ramsey warns, “we need to consider that the whole monument boundary is surrounded by more than 3,000 foreign vessels that fish in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.” If President Biden expands the PRIMNM, the region would require a significant increase in maritime security forces to ensure illegal fishing does not imperil U.S. resources and render the PRIMNM impotent.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marinte Monument was enlarged in 2014, making it six times larger than it had been previously. It is already as large as the entire US Atlantic Coast EEZ (considering the Gulf Coast separate). I noted at the time, that it would require additional forces to police the area, as a reserve without enforcement will only keep the honest people out.
The current threat of IUU fishing in the Western Pacific was not a significant consideration when the Program of Record (POR) was determined in 2004. That suggest that we may need more than the planned 64 Fast Response Cutters (58 in the original POR plus six more for PATFORSWA).
Three Webber class in Pago Pago, American Samoa is a good start, but it may not be enough. If we don’t add any more Bertolf class National Security Cutters in the Western Pacific, it seems likely we may need to add OPCs to mix.