Below is a press release from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS). This may not be much different from the previous times Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) were assigned to Navy units transiting to the Western Pacific. It is not at all clear how long they will be doing IUU fisheries enforcement.
SAN DIEGO— The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard began their joint patrol in the Western Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing, combat transnational crimes, and enhance regional security, March 20.
“OMSI is imperative to ensure that the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention (WCPFC) agreement is upheld within the Indo-Pacific region,” said Cmdr. Richard Skinnell, commanding officer of the Navy’s primary participating unit, the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Mobile (LCD 26). “This initiative allows us the opportunity to work jointly with other branches of the military as well as our allies and partners.”
OMSI, a Secretary of Defense program, improves maritime security and domain awareness by enabling Coast Guard law enforcement personnel to conduct maritime law enforcement operations from Navy ships. These joint and combined operations ensure the U.S. military honors its security commitments to allies, partners, and friends.
“Collaborating with our partners throughout Oceania is essential in ensuring a free and open Blue Pacific,” said Cmdr. Jeff Bryant, chief of enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard District Fourteen. It is a privilege and we are proud to support the Federated States of Micronesia through dedicated partnership in the effort to maintain maritime governance and preserve maritime sovereignty.”
The WCPFC international fisheries agreement prioritizes the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.
“The U.S. Coast Guard is always ready and looking forward to executing the OMSI mission alongside our U.S. Navy partners,” said Bryant.
Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Mobile (LCS 26), with an embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, supports maritime law with partner nations by enforcing the WCPFC agreement and by suppressing illicit activities. Independence-variant LCS is the platform of choice for this mission due to its fast and agile maneuvering capabilities, large flight deck with manned and unmanned aviation assets and surface warfare mission set.
An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations–from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.
“Meanwhile, a third U.S. Littoral Combat Ship, USS Mobile (LCS-26), is now deployed to the Indo-Pacific, joining USS Charleston (LCS-18) and USS Oakland (LCS-24), according to a 3rd Fleet release on Thursday.
The LCSs are taking part in U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard joint patrol in the Western Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing, combat transnational crimes and enhance regional security with the patrol being conducted by Mobile with an embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team. Charleston is currently operating around the Indian Ocean while Oakland is around the South China Sea.”
The USNI article may give the impression that all three LCS have Coast Guard LEDETs aboard and that all three are countering IUU, but the referenced news release only mentions USS Mobile.
It may be significant that USS Mobile is conducting these operations under 3rd Fleet rather than 7th Fleet. Recently 3rd Fleet, which previously was primarily a training and readiness organization, has been taking on more operational responsibility. We may start seeing more of this kind of activity.