“US gov’t pledges more capacity-building programs for PCG” –Manila Bulletin

Certainly this will involve more “capacity building” and possibly more equipment transfers, but, perhaps more importantly, the US is sharing intelligence with the Philippines and other SE Asian nations to enhance maritime domain awareness.

I hope this will be another step toward a law enforcement alliance, a “Combined Maritime Security Task Force, Pacific,” perhaps following the model of the “Combined Maritime Force” in SW Asia.

Thanks to Xavier Ng for bringing this to my attention. 

Chinese F/V Attempts to Ram USCGC James –AP

In this photo made available by the U.S. Coast Guard, guardsmen from the cutter James, seen at background right, conduct a boarding of a fishing vessel in the eastern Pacific Ocean, on Aug. 4, 2022. During the 10-day patrol for illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing, three vessels steamed away. Another turned aggressively 90 degrees toward the James, forcing the American vessel to maneuver to avoid being rammed. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Hunter Schnabel/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

The Associated Press is reporting,

“…a heavily-armed U.S. Coast Guard cutter sailed up to a fleet of a few hundred Chinese squid-fishing boats not far from Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Its mission: inspect the vessels for any signs of illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing…But in this case, the Chinese captains of several fishing boats did something unexpected. Three vessels sped away, one turning aggressively 90 degrees toward the Coast Guard cutter James, forcing the American vessel to take evasive action to avoid being rammed.”

Of course there is much more to the story.

NATIONAL 5-YEAR STRATEGY FOR COMBATING ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED, AND UNREGULATED FISHING (2022-2026) / and the Missing Air Element

Under NOAA auspices, the U. S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing has issued a five year strategy to address IUU fishing.

There are three identified objectives:

  • Promote Sustainable Fisheries Management and Governance
  • Enhance the Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance of Marine Fishing Operations
  • Ensure Only Legal, Sustainable, and Responsibly Harvested Seafood Enters
    Trade

Five nations have been identified as priorities for development of self sufficiency in the prevention of IUU fishing: Ecuador, Panama, Senegal, Taiwan, and Vietnam. These “Priority States” were selected because their “…vessels: “actively engage in, knowingly profit from, or are complicit in IUU fishing” and, at the same time, the priority flag state “is willing, but lacks the capacity, to monitor or take effective enforcement action against its fleet.”

090808-G-3885B-136
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 8, 2009) The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912), left, patrols along side the Senegalese Navy vessel, Poponquine, during joint operations as part of the Africa Partnership Station. The Legare is deployed off the west and central coast of Africa for the six-day joint U.S/Senegalese operation, during which several Senegalese naval vessel boarding team members embarked aboard the Legare and participated in joint boarding and training exercises. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas M. Blue/ Released)

It is likely the Coast Guard will be spending time helping these states build capacity in their navies, coast guards, or maritime police.

The Missing Air Element  

One of the great strengths of the US Coast Guard is its fleet of fixed wing aircraft. They provide an essential detection capability. An air search capability allows the patrol vessels to do less searching and more boardings. Most smaller nations’ maritime law enforcement agencies have only limited, or in many cases, no comparable organic air search capability. Frequently, if they are to have an air search, they require cooperation of another service.

What I have seen of our capacity building efforts, seem to have been focused on surface operations and boarding team work.

Recognizing fishing vessels is not in the skill set of most air force crews. Frequently communications between surface vessels and air units are not compatible. In many air forces their aircraft virtually never go out over blue water.

The US Coast Guard could certainly help build capacity on the air side, as well as the surface side of the IUU fishing problem.

Land based Unmanned Air Systems now appear to be a way maritime law enforcement agencies might have an organic fixed wing air search capability at a lower cost. Unfortunately the US Coast Guard still is not particularly experienced in this area. The Japanese Coast Guard might be able to provide valuable advice to at least Taiwan and Vietnam in the use of UAS, as they gain experience with their newly acquired MQ-9Bs.

A New Kind of Shiprider Agreement–Virtual / “U.S., Federated States of Micronesia sign expanded shiprider agreement”

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam Commander Capt. Nicholas R. Simmons and the Honorable Joses R. Gallen, Secretary of Justice, Federated States of Micronesia, signed an expanded shiprider agreement allowing remote coordination of authorities, the first of its kind aboard the USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) in Guam, on Oct. 13, 2022. The agreement will enable to U.S to act on behalf of the FSM to combat illicit maritime activity and to strengthen international security operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir)

This is a lot more of a leap than it might seem from the news release. It is a huge vote of confidence from the Federated States of Micronesia.

More specifically, the agreement provides a coordinating mechanism and process for U.S. law enforcement personnel to work with the FSM National Police through command centers to receive approval from the FSM to act.

In all previous shiprider agreements, the Coast Guard team enforced the laws of the assisted nation under the authority of an agent of that nation, that accompanied the ship. What we have here is a virtual shiprider (my choice of words). Not only is it easier logistically, it means the decision by the nation assisted is probably being made at a higher level than would have been the case with a dedicated on-scene shiprider.

It also means that a cutter can begin acting on behalf of the Federated States of Micronesia as soon as the cutter enters their EEZ, rather than having to wait until the shiprider comes aboard. The cutter will also not have to drop the shiprider off before departing the area, or arrange other transportation that might delay the agent’s return to duty. It is a win-win.

 

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

U.S., Federated States of Micronesia sign expanded shiprider agreement

U.S., Federated States of Micronesia sign expanded shiprider agreement U.S., Federated States of Micronesia sign expanded shiprider agreement
U.S., Federated States of Micronesia sign expanded shiprider agreement U.S., Federated States of Micronesia sign expanded shiprider agreement

Editor’s Note: Click on the images above to view or download more.

SANTA RITA, Guam — To overcome complex challenges to maritime enforcement in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), a nation with over six hundred islands, representatives of the United States and the FSM signed a remote shiprider agreement on Oct. 13, 2022, during a Joint Committee Meeting hosted by Joint Region Marianas.

Through remote coordination, this agreement, the first of its kind, will enable the U.S. to act on behalf of the country to combat illicit maritime activity when an FSM law enforcement officer is not present. More specifically, the agreement provides a coordinating mechanism and process for U.S. law enforcement personnel to work with the FSM National Police through command centers to receive approval from the FSM to act.

Shiprider agreements allow maritime law enforcement officers to observe, board, and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations within a designated exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or on the high seas. These law enforcement activities bolster maritime law enforcement operations and maritime domain awareness and provide a mechanism to conduct integrated operations within the Pacific.

“We’re thrilled to cooperate with our Federated States of Micronesia partners on this initiative that will reap benefits for FSM’s economic, environmental, and national security in the maritime domain,” said Alissa Bibb, Chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia.

The dynamic nature of detecting, deterring, and suppressing illegal activity in the Pacific, like fisheries offenses and illicit maritime drug trafficking, requires creative and collaborative solutions. This agreement builds on the enduring partnership and long-standing shiprider agreement between the two nations by providing a new framework to conduct maritime operations and relies on the professionalism and expertise of U.S. and FSM maritime law enforcement officers.

The U.S. Coast Guard regularly exercises 13 bilateral fisheries law enforcement agreements with countries throughout the Pacific islands. These agreements enable U.S. Coast Guard personnel and U. S. Navy vessels with embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement personnel to work with host nations to protect critical regional resources. Shiprider efforts greatly enhance host-nation sovereignty by enabling Pacific Island Nation partners to enforce their laws and regulations using U.S. assets.

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains strong partnerships with the maritime forces in the region through extensive training and subject matter expert exchanges. FSM, also known as the Big Ocean State, has one of the world’s largest EEZs, with waters rich in sea life. FSM consists of four states — Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae — each with a mix of unique peoples, languages, and cultures. FSM is a signatory to a Compact of Free Association with the United States. They are also a Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Association member and a party to the South Pacific Tuna Treaty.

“This historic agreement significantly strengthens presence and enforcement options to counter illicit maritime activity in the region. It is only made possible by the deep and abiding relationships and respect between the Coast Guard and our FSM partners, “Capt. Nick Simmons, Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia. “FSM has the 14th largest EEZ in the world and only two patrol boats. Our crews spend ample time within the region but getting a shiprider aboard our vessels can be a real logistical challenge. This agreement dramatically increases the capacity of available resources to act on FSM’s behalf to protect their living marine resources and sovereignty. We appreciate their continued trust and confidence as we work together.”

The USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) hosted Chargé d’affaires Bibb and her team aboard in Pohnpei in September. They met with several key officials, and members of the cutter’s engineering team conducted a subject matter exchange with the crew of FSS Palikir, the last active Pacific-class patrol boat, on shipboard repairs and assisting with preventative maintenance.

In May, USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) made a contactless crew rest and re-fueling stop in FSM during their expeditionary patrol across Oceania. In December 2021, USCGC Sequoia (WLB 215), working alongside the Navy’s Underwater Construction Team Two (UCT-2), conducted operations to widen the channel at Kapingamarangi Atoll. U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam also provides search and rescue support to FSM, with several successful cases in the last year, resulting in ten lives saved.

The shiprider program supports regional coordination and aligns with the National Security Strategy, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command efforts, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Operation Blue Pacific. The bilateral agreements enacted in the Pacific are the bedrock of regional maritime law enforcement partnership. They convey the United States’ ongoing investment in protecting shared resources and interest in maritime safety and security, including fair and reciprocal trade, while standing against a current of aggressive and coercive influence in the region.

The U.S. is devoted to ensuring greater unity and a free and open Indo-Pacific for all nations who observe the rule of law. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to demonstrate our enduring presence in the Pacific and help facilitate increased regional stability, security, and resilience for U.S. partners.

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

“U.S. Coast Guard conducts port visit in Federated States of Micronesia” –CG Forces Micronesia

USCGC Oliver Henry hosts U.S. Embassy team in Pohnpei

The crew of USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) host Chargé d’affaires Alissa Bibb and her team aboard upon arrival in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, on Sept. 14, 2022. Following stops in Australia and Papua New Guinea, we’ve been patrolling to deter illicit maritime activity — most recently, to counter illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing in the territorial waters of the Federated States of Micronesia to assist in ensuring FSM’s sovereignty, resource security, and the rule of law. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by USCGC Oliver Henry)

Passing along this news release from Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam. It includes some history of previous operations in the area and illustrates connections made through the Academy.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

U.S. Coast Guard conducts port visit in Federated States of Micronesia

USCGC Oliver Henry arrives to Pohnpei USCGC Oliver Henry hosts Charge d'Affairs FSM USCGC Oliver Henry hosts FSM National Oceanic Resource Management Authority – Fisheries Compliance Division Assistant Director

Editor’s Note: Click on the images above to view or download more.

POHNPEI, Federated States of Micronesia — The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew conducted a port visit in Kolonia on Sept. 14 – 16, following a patrol across Oceania encompassing the Coral Sea and the exclusive economic zones of Papua New Guinea and Federated States of Micronesia.

This port visit marks the sixth stop while conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific theater, following several stops across Papua New Guinea and one in Australia, part of Operation Blue Pacific.

During their stop in Pohnpei, Oliver Henry’s crew hosted Chargé d’Affairs Alissa Bibb and her team and Assistant Director Youky Susaia Jr. of the FSM National Oceanic Resource Management Authority – Fisheries Compliance Division. Thye covered patrol highlights and discussed future opportunities. Susaia Jr. is also a 2020 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a classmate of Oliver Henry’s executive officer.

The Oliver Henry commanding officer visited the FSM National Police Maritime Wing headquarters for an office call with Cmdr. Steward Peter to discuss multilateral efforts. Finally, members of the cutter’s engineering team conducted a subject matter expert exchange with the crew of FSS Palikir, the last active Guardian-class patrol boat, on shipboard repairs and preventative maintenance.

“We appreciate the time and support from our Federated States of Micronesia partners and look forward to furthering our shared commitment towards living marine stewardship and maritime security,” said Lt. Freddy Hofschneider, Oliver Henry’s commanding officer. “As a proud Micronesian, it was an honor and privilege to revisit Pohnpei, especially knowing that the crew truly enjoyed their time around the island to immerse themselves in the deeply rooted culture and experience such a beautiful place.”

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains strong partnerships with the maritime forces in the region through extensive training and subject matter expert exchanges. FSM, also known as the Big Ocean State, has one of the world’s largest exclusive economic zones, with waters rich in sea life. FSM consists of four states —Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae—each has a mix of unique peoples, languages, and cultures and a total of more than 600 islands. FSM is a signatory to a Compact of Free Association with the United States. They are also a Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Association member and a party to the South Pacific Tuna Treaty.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s cutter fleet was last in the FSM in May, when the USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) made a contactless crew rest and re-fueling stop during their expeditionary patrol across Oceania. In December 2021, USCGC Sequoia (WLB 215), working alongside the Navy’s Underwater Construction Team Two (UCT-2), conducted operations to widen the channel at Kapingamarangi Atoll, which narrowed due to marine overgrowth. U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam also provides search and rescue support to FSM.

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in Oceania as part of Operation Blue Pacific, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards. Op Blue Pacific seeks to strengthen partnerships and execute a mission to support maritime governance and the rule of law in the region. To this, we must understand, measure, and articulate regional influences and relationships and provide our crews with the best operational assets and support to get the mission done safely and return.

The 154-foot Oliver Henry is the 40th Sentinel-class fast response cutter. The ship was commissioned along with its sister ships, Myrtle Hazard and Frederick Hatch, in Guam in July 2021. In the time since, the crew has participated in several search and rescue cases, completed a counternarcotics patrol off Guam with the Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel Mizuho, and conducted sovereignty and fisheries patrols in the Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam area of responsibility.

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 @USCGForcesMicronesia.

“Coast Guard could see more funding in new Senate legislation to help face Arctic challenges from Russia and China” –Stars and Stripes

USCG Cutter Bear transits out of Torngat National Park, Canada, on Aug. 9, 2022. The Bear was partaking in the Tuugaalik phase of Operation Nanook, an annual exercise that allows the United States and multiple other partner nations to ensure security and enhance interoperability in Arctic waters. (Matthew Abban/U.S. Coast Guard)

This isn’t through the budgeting process, but it is more indication of the Congress’ bipartisan support for the Coast Guard. Seems likely much of this will be incorporated in the final budget.

Stars and Stripes reports on action by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, that would provide money for the third Polar Security Cutter, establish an Arctic Security Cutter program, and provide “more options for child care, better access to affordable housing and expanded medical care and education opportunities…”

The bill would authorize $14.94 billion for the service for fiscal 2023, which begins Oct. 1. It would amount to a 21.5% budget increase from fiscal 2021.

The bill would support greater Arctic presence, combat IUU fishing, and improve polution response.

“U.S. Coast Guard conducts high seas boarding for first time in the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization Convention Area” –District 11

A U.S. Coast Guard member raises the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) flag on the Coast Guard Cutter James (WSML 754) in the Eastern Pacific, July 29, 2022. The Coast Guard completed a counter-illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing operation for the first time under the SPRFMO. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Below is a news release from District 11 (HQ Alameda, CA). This looks like it may be the leading edge of new major commitment.

SPRFMO covers a huge area, “about a fourth of the Earth’s high seas areas.” See page 6 and the chart on page 50: Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean

There are currently sixteen members of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation:

– Australia                                                – Republic of Chile
– People’s Republic of China                   – Cook Islands
– Republic of Cuba                                  – Republic of Ecuador
– European Union                                    – Kingdom of Denmark  in
respect of  the Faroe Islands
– Republic of Korea                                 – New Zealand
– Republic of Panama                             – Republic of Peru
– Russian Federation                              – Chinese Taipei
– The United States of America              – Republic of Vanuatu

Since the EU is a member, the number of states represented is actually much higher.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 11th District Pacific Southwest

U.S. Coast Guard conducts high seas boarding for first time in the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization Convention Area

Editor’s Note: Click on images above to download full-resolution version.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard recently completed an operation to counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, within the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) Convention area.

The SPRFMO Convention area covers nearly a fourth of the Earth’s high seas. The SPRFMO Commission consists of 16 members from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania as well as three cooperating non-contracting parties. In 2015, the members adopted a high seas boarding and inspection measure, which allowed the United States and all SPRFMO Members to board and inspect other SPRFMO Members fishing vessels, and record any suspected violations of SPRFMO conservation measures. The results of any such boarding by the U.S. Coast Guard, including any suspected infractions, are submitted to the SPRFMO Secretariat and the flag state of the boarded vessel for further investigation and action, as appropriate.

The Coast Guard has carried out counter-IUU fishing operations in other regional fisheries management organization areas for years. IUU Fishing has replaced piracy as the leading global maritime security threat. The recent operation against IUU fishing in the Eastern Pacific Ocean marked the first time in which the Coast Guard conducted high seas boardings and inspections under SPRFMO.

This effort also demonstrated the successful use by the United States of the high seas boarding and inspection procedures outlined in the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement – which SPRFMO adopted in 2015 – to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of straddling fish stocks.

“U.S. Coast Guard presence south of the Galapagos Islands beyond Ecuador’s EEZ provided an effective presence in a difficult to reach region,” said Capt. Jim O’Mara, chief of enforcement, Coast Guard Eleventh District. “The planning and execution of the mission represented a whole-of-government approach to countering IUU fishing. Moving forward, we will build on the success of this operation and continue expanding cooperation with all our partners.”  

The areas beyond any country’s exclusive economic zone are areas often exploited by fishermen engaged in IUU fishing, as they fish beyond the reach of most law enforcement entities. The Coast Guard’s operation directly supported Central and South American partnerships and their desires to monitor and enforce sustainable fishing activity near their exclusive economic zones, and expanded maritime domain awareness and information sharing throughout the newly expanded Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor.

The Coast Guard’s actions ensured law enforcement presence among a substantial fleet of more than 400 fishing and transshipment vessels. Much of the fishing in the Eastern Pacific is accomplished by distant water fishing vessels, in many cases supported by transshipment vessels. These large-scale operations traverse the world’s oceans, and can involve forced labor, human trafficking, and other human rights abuses, as well as maritime pollution. With their vast numbers operating in close proximity to one another, these distant water-fishing fleets may also have a significant impact on such environmentally sensitive waters as those of the Galapagos Islands, home to a vulnerable ecosystem.

Enforcing the rules of regional fisheries management organizations is about sharing the responsibility for protecting vulnerable fish stocks, the economic stability of coastal nations, the livelihoods of small-scale and artisanal fishermen, and protecting our ocean resources that feed global populations and fuel economies.

“Deploying our most capable national security cutters to the Eastern Pacific to detect and deter IUU fishing in the SPRFMO Convention Area for the second time this year is a clear signal of the U.S. commitment to support what is truly a global mission,” said Rear Adm. Andrew Sugimoto, commander, Coast Guard Eleventh District. We will continue to build on these partnerships, and leverage our unique authorities and capabilities to advance stability, security, and order in the maritime domain.”

“Littoral Combat Ships Conduct Joint Oceania Maritime Support Initiative” –Seapower

“Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Oakland (LCS 24) stations behind a fishing vessel while Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific Coast Guardsmen conduct an Oceania Maritime Support Initiative (OMSI) vessel compliance boarding, Aug. 19, 2022. Oakland is deployed in support of the Oceania Maritime Support Initiative, a secretary of defense program leveraging Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness, and law enforcement operations in Oceania. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ian Zagrocki)”

The Navy League’s on-line magazine, Seapower reports,

Independence-variant littoral combat ships USS Jackson (LCS 6) and USS Oakland (LCS 24) deployed to the Oceania region with embarked U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team detachments to conduct maritime law enforcement operations in support of U.S. and Pacific Island nations fisheries laws, August 2022, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Public Affairs Office said Sept. 7.

Certainly not the first time Navy combatants have embarked TACLETs, but the LCS do appear to be more appropriate than DDGs and it appears that, at least USS Jackson, is not just doing this while transiting some where else, “Jackson will continue the OMSI mission through September 2022.”

 

“U.S. Coast Guard arrives for planned port visit in Cairns, Australia” –Adventures in Paradise with the Webber Class

The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) arrive in Cairns for engagements with Australian Defence and Home Affairs partners and local representatives, Aug. 31, 2022. The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in Oceania as part of Operation Blue Pacific, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards. Op Blue Pacific is an overarching multi-mission U.S. Coast Guard endeavor promoting security, safety, sovereignty, and economic prosperity in Oceania while strengthening relationships with our regional partners. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy USCGC Oliver Henry)

The six Hawaii and Guam based Webber class Fast Response Cutters do seem to get around. USCGC Oliver Henry made it to North Eastern Australia, mooring at Her Majesty’s Australian Station Cairns, which is home to some Australian Navy patrol, hydrographic, and survey vessels. Cairns looks like a delightful little city (population in June 2019 was 153,951). Not bad after no one tossed out the welcome mat in the Solomon Islands. The crew is going to have a lot of sea stories.

Cairns is a bit over 1800 nautical miles South of Oliver Henry’s homeport in Guam.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

U.S. Coast Guard arrives for planned port visit in Cairns, Australia

The Oliver Henry is the first U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter ever to fly the Australian ensign.  The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) command stand for a photo with Cmdr. Alfonso Santos, commander of HMAS Cairns, and Capt. Toby Reid, U.S. Coast Guard representative to the defense attache office of the U.S. Embassy in Australia,
USCGC Oliver Henry meets with Cairns regional Council and mayor The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) arrive in Cairns for engagements with Australian Defence and Home Affairs partners and local representatives, Aug. 31, 2022

Editor’s Note: Click on the images above to view or download more.

CAIRNS, Australia — The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew arrived in Cairns for engagements with Australian Defence and Home Affairs partners and local representatives, Aug. 31.

“A cutter arrival to Australia is another first, not only for U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia but also our fast response cutter fleet and is a reminder of our Service’s commitment to our partners and our enduring presence in the region,” said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam. “The ship driver in me was envious when Lt. Hofschneider reported ‘OH transiting southbound along Inner Great Barrier Reef Passage enroute to Cairns. No issues or concerns.’ Not the kind of thing many Coast Guard members have ever written or said.”

Before arrival in port, Oliver Henry’s crew operated at sea with aerial support from the Australian Border Forces in the Torres Strait. While in port, the two nations will continue to build on the relationship forged at sea. Upon arrival, the crew was greeted by representatives from the Royal Australian Navy HMAS Cairns and the U.S. embassy. They were also guests of the Cairns Regional Council.

“It is an honor for Oliver Henry and her crew to visit and host our Australian friends,” said Lt. Freddy Hofschneider, the Oliver Henry commanding officer. “The U.S. and Australia have been standing side-by-side for more than 100 years. This is more than a partnership, it is mateship. The U.S. Coast Guard looks forward to more opportunities where we can work with the Australian Border Force, Royal Australian Navy, and other Australian partners to advance the rule of law at sea.”

During their stop in Cairns, members of Oliver Henry anticipate engagements with local officials and the community while also experiencing local culture.

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in Oceania as part of Operation Blue Pacific, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards. Op Blue Pacific is an overarching multi-mission U.S. Coast Guard endeavor promoting security, safety, sovereignty, and economic prosperity in Oceania while strengthening relationships with our regional partners.

The Oliver Henry is the 40th Sentinel-class fast response cutter. The ship was commissioned along with its sister ships, Myrtle Hazard and Frederick Hatch, in Guam in July 2021. In the time since, the crew has participated in several search and rescue cases, completed a counternarcotics patrol off Guam with the Japan Coast Guard, and conducted sovereignty and fisheries patrols in the Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam area of responsibility.

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 @USCGForcesMicronesia.

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.

“Coast Guard carves out strategic niche in Africa” –Stars and Stripes

USCGC Mohawk manns the rail as she sails alongside a Nigerian navy ship in the Atlantic Ocean, Aug. 22, 2022. Mohawk is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of operations. (Jessica Fontenette/U.S. Coast Guard)

Stars and Stripes reports on the Coast Guard’s latest capacity building and counter IUU efforts in West African waters.

Previous related reports:

The second link immediately above includes additional links regarding previous similar efforts.