“U.S. Coast Guard participates in multilateral search and rescue drill off Palau” –News Release

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 19, 2022) – Capt. Charles Maynard of the Royal Navy, serving as deputy mission commander of Pacific Partnership (PP22), renders honors as Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Kirisame (DD 104) passes Navy River Class vessel HMS Tamar (P233) during a multilateral search and rescue exercise (SAREX) coordinated with the U.S. Navy, Republic of Palau, U.S. Coast Guard, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Royal Navy in support of PP22. Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi)

Below is a press release reporting a multinational SAR exercise involving units from the United Kingdom, Japan, and the Republic of Palau as well as the US Navy and Coast Guard. (46 photos here)

There are some noteworthy aspects to this exercise.

Re the USCG: First that there is a Coast Guard liaison officer to the Compact of Free Association States, Lt. Cmdr. Field Cassiano. Second, USCGC Myrtle Hazard, commissioned just over a year ago has conducted “sovereignty and fisheries patrols with five Pacific island nations.” She has been very busy. 

Re growing Allied interest: The participation of Britain and Japan is relatively new.

The UK has recently shown renewed interest in the Pacific after decades with virtually no forces in the Pacific. The Royal Navy vessel in the exercise, HMS Tamar, is one of two River Class Batch II Offshore Patrol Vessels that have embarked on a five year deployment to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. There are plans to permanently deploy a task force to the area and there is also a growing partnerships between the UK and Japan.

Since WWII, Japan has generally kept a low profile in international affairs but with the emergence of an agressive and overtly hostile China, Japan has started to assume a leadership role in the region. She has transferred offshore patrol vessels to several nations in SE Asia. For the first time, Japan is starting to maket weapons internationally. I found it interesting that the Japanese participant in the SAR exercise was a destroyer rather than a Japan Coast Guard vessel. I have yet to see any evidence, the Japan Coast Guard is taking on an expeditionary role, as the US Coast Guard has done.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

U.S. Coast Guard participates in multilateral search and rescue drill off Palau

Royal Navy River Class vessel HMS Tamar (P233) sailors conduct boat operations with the USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139)  Charles Maynard of the Royal Navy, serving as deputy mission commander of Pacific Partnership (PP22), center left, takes a photo with the crew of Palau Patrol Ship PPS Kedam Capt. Charles Maynard of the Royal Navy, serving as deputy mission commander of Pacific Partnership (PP22), renders a honors as Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Kirisame (DD 104) passes
Japan Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Kirisame (DD 104), front left, Palau Patrol Ship PPS Kedam, center, and Royal Navy River Class vessel HMS Tamar (P233) transit the Pacific Ocean during a multilateral search and rescue exercise (SAREX) Capt. Charles Maynard of the Royal Navy, serving as deputy mission commander of Pacific Partnership (PP22), right, receives a U.S. Coast Guard challenge coin from Lt. Jalle Merritt, commanding officer of USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139)  USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) transits the Pacific Ocean during a multilateral search and rescue exercise (SAREX) coordinated with the U.S. Navy, Republic of Palau, U.S. Coast Guard, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Royal Navy in support of Pacific Partnership 2022

Editors’ Note: To view more or download high-resolution photos click on the images above. Photos courtesy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi, USN.

SANTA RITA, Guam — In a bid to strengthen relationships and interoperability, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a multilateral search and rescue drill alongside longtime partners from the United Kingdom, Japan, and the Republic of Palau in late July.

“We thrive on these opportunities, and we all came away with a deepened appreciation for the work of our respective agencies,” said Lt. Cmdr. Field Cassiano, Coast Guard liaison officer to the Compact of Free Association States. “Anyone who spends time in the Pacific is no stranger to the region’s vast distances and limited resources. Evolutions like this provide invaluable face-to-face interaction and enable us to work through challenges before an incident or crisis.”

Such events range from something akin to the search for Amelia Earhart to the far more common activity of a small skiff of fishers gone missing. It could also include a large-scale response for a disabled cruise ship or search and rescue of the crew of a commercial vessel like the car carrier Cougar Ace which heeled over at sea before being towed into port in 2008.

In this drill, the USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) crew, with support from the U.S. Coast Guard Fourteenth District and U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam, worked with the crews of the Palau Patrol Ship PPS Kedam, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Kirisame (DD 104), and Royal Navy River Class vessel HMS Tamar (P233).

“Thoughtful planning led to realistic scenarios that were positively challenging, which demanded teamwork, shared vision, and high-level navigational expertise,” said Lt. Jalle Merritt, commanding officer of USCGC Myrtle Hazard. “It is fully in the realm of possibility that our partners and we will be called upon to support those in need, in heavy weather, near reefs, with a limited time to respond. Through drills such as those conducted this week, our multinational maritime response team remains ready to not only meet but exceed the needs of those our team serves.”

With decades of experience and one of the largest maritime rescue regions in the world, the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific works together with partners and neighbors to provide life-saving coverage throughout the region. The United States maintains several formal agreements with partners under strict compliance with international laws and regulations. These agreements include Search and Rescue (SAR) agreements with Japan, Australia, and the Republic of Palau, among other regional nations.

Historically, the U.S. Coast Guard and Palau hold regular search and rescue engagements to improve cooperation and processes between the Service and counterparts in Palau. This drill, one facet of Pacific Partnership 22, comes on the heels of a very successful humanitarian assistance and disaster relief workshop with 120 personnel trained.

Charles Maynard of the Royal Navy, serving as deputy mission commander of PP22, was on hand to oversee the exercise, part of PP22’s Palau phase.

The coordination between partner nations during PP22 enhanced understanding and cooperation and prepared those involved to respond in the case of a natural disaster or other humanitarian assistance and disaster relief scenario. Pacific Partnership contributes to regional stability and security through exchanges that foster enduring partnerships, trust, and interoperability between nations.

Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the most extensive annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific.

The Myrtle Hazard is the 39th Sentinel-class fast response cutter. The ship arrived in Guam and commissioned along with its sister ships, Oliver Henry and Frederick Hatch, in July 2021. In the time since, the crew has participated in Operation Blue Pacific, conducting sovereignty and fisheries patrols with five Pacific island nations.

For more U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam news visit us on DVIDS or subscribe! You can also visit us on Facebook at @USCGSectorGuam.

-USCG-

Fire on Peruvian Corvette Operating Under CO Midgett’s OPCON

Peruvian Navy corvette BAP Guise (CC-28) makes a pass during a ship maneuvering exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 on July 13, 2022. US Coast Guard Photo

The US Naval Institute reports,

At least two people were injured in a fire that burned for several hours on a Peruvian warship participating in RIMPAC 2022, a Navy official said Sunday…

Two personnel, in “critically stable” condition, were evacuated from the Combined Task Force surface vessel by a French helicopter from frigate FS Prairial (F731), Robertson said. They were taken to U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) then to carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and then to shore.

As we learned earlier,

Coast Guard Cutter Midgett is commanding Combined Task Force 175, which includes ships from France, Peru and the U.S. Navy, and is conducting air and missile defense, gunnery, mass rescue and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

This latest report gives us a little more information on the compositon of Combined Task Force 175. In addtion to USCGC Midgett, Peruvian corvette BAO Guise (CC-28), and French surveillance frigate FS Prairial (F731), it also includes  Arleigh Burke class Flight IIA guided-missile destroyers USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Gridley (DDG-101).

“JUST IN: Coast Guard Aims to Learn from Navy at RIMPAC” –National Defense

The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Midgett (WMSL 757) and Kimball (WMSL 756) transit past Koko Head on Oahu, Hawaii, Aug. 16, 2019. The Kimball and Midgett are both homeported in Honolulu and two of the newest Coast Guard cutters to join the fleet. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West/Released)

We are finally getting some information about the Coast Guard’s participation in RIMPAC 2022, and some of it may be a bit surprising.

A Coast Guard CO will command a task force,

Coast Guard Cutter Midgett is commanding Combined Task Force 175, which includes ships from France, Peru and the U.S. Navy, and is conducting air and missile defense, gunnery, mass rescue and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

The surprise, of course, is anti-submarine warfare. Midgett might simply simulate the high value unit to be protected, but Midgett will embark an MH-60R. The “Romeo” version is an ASW helicopter.

The 418-foot Midgett, a national security cutter and the largest class in the Coast Guard fleet, will also sail with a Navy MH-60R helicopter on board.

“Part of that is, how do you sustain that particular airframe? How do you support it for a long-range, two-month or three-month deployment?” he said. The Coast Guard is hoping to convert some of its airframes to ones used by the Navy going forward.

I might add, where do you store the sonobuoys, torpedoes, and other weapons?

(I have felt for a long time there are opportunities for attaching Navy Reserve units, that might include ASW Helicopters and their crews and sonar equipment and supporting personnel, to Coast Guard cutters as mobilization assets.)

Will the helicopter operate from Midgett as part of a Sink-Ex? Will Midgett get to participate in a Sink-Ex?

All the Sink-Exs seem to target ships of frigate size or larger. It would be good to have some smaller targets for less capable weapon systems.

What about the USCGC William Hart (WPC-1134), that will also be participating? Her only activity mentioned is to help set up a SAR exercise,

“As part of RIMPAC, the Hart will deploy two groups of mannequins at sea for the Midgett and a Japanese cutter to find and recover in a mass-rescue operation.”

Hope Hart and Midgett get to exercise against high speed small surface targets.

“Predicting illegal fishing activity is tip of the iceberg for mature AI technology” –BAE

BAE Systems technology applies machine learning analytics to automate low-level detection of activities of interest, such as fishing, from available data streams.

Below is a company press release, but it is an interesting one, with relevance to Coast Guard missions. The Obangame Express Exercise is one the Coast Guard has participated in, in the past. More info on the exercise here and here.


BAE Systems technology applies machine learning analytics to automate low-level detection of activities of interest, such as fishing, from available data streams.

The old “finding a needle in a haystack” analogy doesn’t begin to articulate the challenge associated with illegal fishing detection and identification. While a ship may be larger than a needle, the ocean is certainly larger than your biggest haystack. Add the need to not only find the ship, but determine its recent activities, anticipate future movements, and compare them with all other ships in the area — and do it in near real-time using open source data feeds.

At the Obangame Express event, which is the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western Africa, BAE Systems’ Multi-INT Analytics for Pattern Learning and Exploitation (MAPLE) as a Service, MaaS for short, was integrated with SeaVision, the U.S. Navy’s premier tool for unclassified interagency and coalition maritime data sharing. SeaVision is a maritime situational awareness tool that ingests maritime vessel position data from various government and commercial sources and simultaneously displays them on the same screen in a web browser.

“Military organizations use illegal fishing as a model application due to the unclassified nature of the available data,” said Neil Bomberger, chief scientist at BAE Systems’ FAST LabsTM research and development organization. “Successful detection of illegal fishing activity helps address a serious challenge and highlights another use case for our mature artificial intelligence technology.”

Giving depth to data

While manual analysis of individual vessel tracks is possible, it gets exponentially more challenging and time-consuming for large numbers of vessels. BAE Systems technology applies machine learning analytics to automate low-level detection of activities of interest, such as fishing, from available data streams. This enables analysts to quickly answer time-sensitive questions, prioritize manual data analysis activities, identify higher-level trends, and focus on decision-making instead of manual data analysis.

During the event, BAE Systems’ MaaS technology processed streaming data and automatically detected vessel behavior events that SeaVision displayed as an additional data layer to support user-friendly and timely analysis. The technology provides full visibility into the data to allow the users to check whether the detected behavior warrants further investigation. This helps build trust in the automation and supports additional analysis.

Decades in the making

BAE Systems’ FAST Labs maritime sensemaking capabilities are rooted in artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Backed by nearly two decades of development, their behavior recognition and pattern analysis capabilities continue to show significant utility in real-world environments.

The cloud-based artificial intelligence technology was matured via work on the Geospatial Cloud Analytics (GCA) program. In the months since the successful event, the FAST Labs organization has continued to develop and mature its autonomy portfolio. Elements of its autonomy technology have proven successful in multiple domains including air, land, and sea.

“This successful event delivers on the promise of mature artificial intelligence technology – easy to integrate, incorporating trust, and providing fast and actionable information in a real-world scenario,” continued Bomberger. “The event showcased how our artificial intelligence technology can be deployed in a cloud environment, integrated with a government tool, and used to address relevant maritime activities.”

How The Fleet Forgot to Fight” –CIMSEC

USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752), left, and the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) maneuver in formation during Talisman Sabre 2019 on July 11, 2019. US Navy Photo

Currently the CIMSEC web site is migrating to a new server so it is off line, but they have provided something a shorthand critique of how some think the Navy has fallen short, since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Coast Guard still has Defense Readiness as one of its eleven missions. We in the Coast Guard are highly dependent on the Navy helping us know what needs doing, but I don’t think we should fail to think for ourselves.

This short five page outline of what the Navy has been doing wrong may be helpful because we have probably been making some of the same mistakes, not just in our preparation to fight a “near peer” major conflict, but in our response to the terror threat, and perhaps in our on-going war with drug smugglers.

USCGC Oliver Henry, WPC-1140, Exercises with the Navy in the Philippine Sea

Some photos from Twitter,

“The crew of USCG Cutter Oliver Henry participated in an integrated exercise alongside Navy Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron TWO in the Philippine Sea last month under the direction of U.S. 7th Fleet.”

The Navy vessel is apparently a MkVI patrol boat.

USCGC Oliver Henry is the second FRC to be homeported in Guam, so the Philippine Sea is practically just out the front door.

The location of the Philippine Sea. (Section of a world map from the CIA World Factbook)

Thanks to Walter for bring this to my attention. 

UNITAS LXI Concludes

USCGC Legare in the foreground. Directly behind her is the Peruvian Italian built Lupo class frigate BAP Bolognesi (FM-57). To the right is a Colombian Fassmer designed 80 meter OPV (see links on photo below). To the left is an Italian built Ecuadorian Esmeraldas class corvette. US Navy photo by Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Joseph Aubrey

We noted USCGC Legare’s participation in the 61st UNITAS exercise earlier. The exercise concluded Nov. 11. Below is a news release.

I am really surprised that I have not seen any Coast Guard public affairs information about this.

The exercise included a SINKEX. Would really like to know how that went. Did the Legare shot? Visible damage?

There is no specific mention of submarines in the news release, but it did say there were ASW exercises. Several of the participating nations have subs. Bet, somewhere there is a photo of Legare in the cross hairs of a periscope.


UNITAS LXI, the world’s longest running multinational maritime exercise concluded with a closing ceremony in Manta, Ecuador, Nov. 11.

For this year’s iteration of UNITAS, Ecuador served as the host nation, joined by forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States.

Partner nations used 13 warships and 12 aircraft to conduct scenario-driven joint and combined operations and training to enhance interoperability, flexibility, and increase maritime, air, and ground-domain awareness in the Western Hemisphere.

Events included: surface tactical maneuvers, a sinking exercise (SINKEX), a live-fire exercise, a replenishment-at-sea, search and rescue exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense exercises, amphibious landing, reconnaissance, assault, security, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief response training.

The at-sea phase culminated in a multi-threat, multi-day scenario that allowed participants to work together, further increasing preparedness for real-world crises that would require a multi-national force response effort.

Additionally, U.S. Marine Corps Forces South hosted partner-nations at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to integrate with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Southern Command and conducted further interoperability training for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations.

“Congratulations to all participants on the successful execution of UNITAS LXI,” said Brig. Gen. Phillip Frietze, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South. “Your efforts and performance have contributed to building the capacity and strength of our nations to rise together and achieve common goals.”

Peru will host UNITAS LXII next year to celebrate the bicentennial of the country and the Peruvian navy.

For 61 years, the United States has built upon commonalities and increased capabilities within the Western Hemisphere through exercise UNITAS. Different countries host the exercise each year, facilitating the opportunity to gain experience leading a multinational force through complex joint and combined maritime warfare scenarios and exercises.

UNITAS, Latin for “unity,” was conceived in 1959, first executed in 1960 and has been held every year since. This year marks the 61st iteration of UNITAS. The exercise continues to develop and sustain relationships that improve the capacity of our emerging and enduring partners’ joint and combined maritime forces to achieve common desired effects and fosters friendly cooperation and understanding between participating military forces.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet is responsible for U.S. Naval forces in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, including the Caribbean, Central and South America.

For more information and news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cusns/, https://www.facebook.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT, and https://twitter.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT.

201104-N-N3674-011 MANTA, Ecuador (November 4, 2020) Naval ships from Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and the United States conduct naval formations during a training exercise for UNITAS LXI (U.S. Navy photo by Damage Controlman Fireman Isaiah Libunao/Released) The two ships leading are Columbian. The ship in the foreground right is a FASSMER designed 80 meter OPV ARC 7 de Agosto (PZE-47)

USCGC Legare Participates in UNITAS LXI

USCG LEGARE (WMEC 912) passing by pier No. 9 at the Norfolk Naval Base. Returning to port after the passage of Hurricane Floyd up the east coast. Location: HAMPTON ROADSTEAD, VA, Photo credit: Don S. Montgomery, USN (RET)

UPI is reporting that, beginning this week, USCGC Legare (WMEC-912) will be participating in this year’s UNITAS exercise along with USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USNS Burlington (T-EPF-10), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 Detachment 9 (which flies MH-60S and MQ-8B drones), Patrol Squadron 9, Patrol Squadron 26 (both VP-9 and VP-26 fly the P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft) and the U.S. Army Vessel Chickahominy (LCU-2011).

Other participants include representatives form Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay for a total of 13 ships.

“Coast Guard concludes Operation Arctic Shield 2020” –D17

Below is a District 17 press release. 

united states coast guard

 

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska
Contact: 17th District Public Affairs
Office: (907) 463-2065
After Hours: (907) 209-8731
17th District online newsroom

Coast Guard concludes Operation Arctic Shield 2020

   Arctic Shield operations arctic shield operations

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard concluded its annual Arctic Shield operations Sunday with the seasonal closure of its Forward Operating Location in Kotzebue, Alaska.

Air Station Kodiak air crews and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters were forward deployed to Kotzebue to provide better response times and coverage to remote regions of Alaska during increased summer boating traffic.

In addition, the crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Kukui, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Sitka, Alaska; and the Healy, a 420-foot medium icebreaker homeported in Seattle, Washington, patrolled the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in support of maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, community relations, partnership building and scientific research.

Coast Guard crews deployed in support of Operation Arctic Shield, which commenced July 1, responded to 10 search and rescue cases, saving 25 lives.

To prevent hazards at sea, Coast Guard personnel from the 17th Coast Guard District and Sector Anchorage completed 172 facility inspections, and 405 commercial fishing vessel safety exams. The Coast Guard also continued its partnerships and provided critical support to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Office of Naval Research.

“The Coast Guard is dedicated to ensuring the protection of the Arctic maritime environment and all those who depend upon it,” said Cmdr. Molly Hayes, Operation Arctic Shield operational planner, Coast Guard District 17. “Our crews recognize and respect the sensitive environmental characteristics of the region and partner with Northern Alaskan communities to advance our shared interests in maritime safety and security.”

Operation Arctic Shield is the Coast Guard’s mobile and seasonal presence focused on performing the service’s 11 statutory missions throughout the Arctic to ensure maritime safety, security and stewardship. It is an annual operation that began in 2009.