Location of American Somoa in the Pacific (Graphic via Wikimedia Commons)

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.


  1. Setting up a base would be a big task in many ways. Logistics would be a concern. Maybe Australia and New Zealand could help out? The weather is a concern. Facilities would have to withstand typhoons. Constant maintenance will be key. Metal rusts just looking at it. Mold and mildew are common.

    Healthcare would be a concern for the crews stationed there.

    It seems that I remember someone mention the Kukui before in another post. Maybe the Coast Guard needs another Kukui to make regular trips to Guam and American Samoa if this does come to fruition?

  2. I think if the USCG is gona set up a base in American Samoa, they should position an OPC and 3 to 4 FRC’s and for support and Logistics, they should look at getting an LST like the Nigerian Navy’s NNS Kada LST, which would suit the USCG for Logistical support and can double as an ATON ship and command & Control ship. It would follow the lines of the USCGC Kukui WAK-186.

    Something like this can be used to support the USCG in Pacific. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCTPSoaUtwk

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