“The Long Blue Line: LANTAREA’s PATFORSWA Managers—over 15 years of leadership!”

MyCG has a new post that reports on the history of an element of Atlantic Area staff that has been manned by reservists, but it is more than that. It charts the history of Coast Guard efforts in support of Central Command over more than 16 years. It also reports that the Reservists are being releaved by an Active Duty/Civilian staff.

It is an interesting read.

“U.S. Coast Guard decommissions Bahrain-based USCGC Baranof” –LANTAREA

220926-A-EQ028-1234 MANAMA, Bahrain Seaman Alexander Moyes lowers the Union Jack aboard USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) during the ship’s decommissioning ceremony in Manama, Bahrain, Sept. 26, 2022. Baranof decommissioned after 34 years of service. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Frederick Poirier)

A bitter sweet day. End of an era. The last of six Island class cutters assigned to PATFORSWA is now decommissioned. The force has now been reequipped with six Webber class Fast Response Cutters.

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area

U.S. Coast Guard decommissions Bahrain-based USCGC Baranof

U.S. Coast Guardsmen conduct a decommissioning ceremony for USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) in Manama, Bahrain, Sept. 26, 2022.

ice Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, arrives at the decommissioning ceremony for USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) in Manama, Bahrain, Sept. 26, 2022. USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) is moored pierside in Manama, Bahrain, Sept. 26, 2022, prior to its decommissioning.

Editors’ Note: To view more or download high-resolution imagery, click on the photos above.

MANAMA, Bahrain — The USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) was decommissioned during a ceremony aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Monday.

Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presided over the ceremony.

“USCGC Baranof’s exemplary service to our nation is a testament to both the Island-class platform and the crews that have manned Baranof over the past 34 years,” said Lunday. “Whether it was conducting law enforcement and search and rescue in the Caribbean, or deploying to the present-day homeport of Bahrain to support U.S. Central Command, those that have manned Baranof have continually met the needs of America.”

Baranof was commissioned into service on May 20, 1988 at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach in Miami. The 18th of 49 Island-class patrol boats, Baranof received orders to the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002. Shortly after their arrival in Bahrain, Baranof’s crew was underway conducting maritime interdiction operations in the North Arabian Gulf.

Baranof was replaced by the USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147), which arrived at NSA Bahrain on Aug. 23, 2022. As part of the Coast Guard’s fast response cutter program, the service is acquiring 65 Sentinel-class fast response cutters, with six of those assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia.

PATFORSWA, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States, oversees the cutters in Bahrain. The ships are forward deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet to help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East. The 154-foot long vessels feature advanced communications systems, and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

PATFORSWA, which is operationally attached to Fifth Fleet’s Commander Task Force 55, is composed of six FRCs, shoreside mission support personnel and a maritime engagement team. The unit plays a crucial role in maritime security, maritime infrastructure protection, and regional theater security cooperation. The unit also supports other U.S. Coast Guard deployable specialized forces operating throughout the Middle Eastern region.

USCGC MOHAWK’s Trans-Atlantic, Europe and West Africa Deployment–Wrap Up

I love the T-shirt, great morale builder. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrea Daring, an operations specialist temporarily assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, cleans the bulk heads during a fresh water wash down of the ship while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Aug. 10, 2022.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Fontenette) 

Below is a media advisory concerning the expected return of USCGC Mohawk from a 92 day deployment that included escorting two PATFORSWA bound Webber class patrol craft accross the Atlantic and port visits and capacity building in Europe and West Africa.

Maybe we need a new slogan, “Join the Coast Guard and see the World.”

It was an unusually very well documented cruise, at least photographically, check it out.

USCGC Mohawk (WMEC-913), Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC-1147), and John Scheuerman (WPC-1146)

USCGC Mohawk sails alongside a Nigerian navy ship in the Atlantic Ocean, Aug. 22, 2022. (Jessica Fontenette/U.S. Coast Guard)

USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) conducts a MK-75 gun exercise while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 2, 2022.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Fontenette)

Crew members onboard the USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) prepare for helicopter hoist training on the flight deck while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Aug. 27, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Fontenette)


Media Advisory

U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Are

Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk to return from 92-Day AFRICOM deployment

KEY WEST, Fla. — USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) and crew are scheduled to return to their homeport Monday following a 92-day, United States Africa Command deployment.

WHO: Cmdr. Andrew Pate, Mohawk’s commanding officer, and Mohawk crew

WHAT: Mohawk crew returns to Key West homeport after 92-day, AFRICOM deployment

WHERE: Coast Guard Sector Key West, 201 Mustin St., Key West, Florida 33040, Delta 2 Pier

WHEN: 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12

Editor’s Note: Media are asked to RSVP by 4 p.m. Sunday to Atlantic Area Public Affairs at 757-452-8336. Media are requested to arrive no later than 12 p.m., Monday, with a driver’s license and proof of insurance in order to be processed through security.

Mohawk’s crew departed Key West, Florida in June and forward-deployed to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe –Africa area of operations, where they were employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

Mohawk began its deployment as surface action group commander, leading the transatlantic escort of two newly commissioned 154-foot fast response cutters, USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) and USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) from Key West, Florida to the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations. Clarence Sutphin Jr. and John Scheuerman continued on to their new homeport in Manama, Bahrain, where they will be employed by U.S. Fifth Fleet.

While on deployment, Mohawk made significant advances in combating piracy and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing conducting multinational law enforcement operations at sea in the Atlantic basin. Their efforts served to strengthen existing relationships with  African nations, and prioritized opportunities for new partnerships with allies who share common interests in the region. Mohawk’s crew worked closely with eight partner nation navies, sailing nearly 19,000 nautical miles in support of American interests abroad. Leading training exercises at-sea and in port, Mohawk also hosted diplomatic engagements and participated in community relations events during port visits to Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Mohawk was the first United States warship to moor in The Gambia since 1994.

Commissioned in March 1991, Mohawk is the 13th and last of the Famous-class Coast Guard cutters. It is named for the Algonquin tribe of Iroquoian Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York, and is the third cutter to bear the name. Mohawk is homeported in Key West, Florida.

 Photos from Mohawk’s deployment are available here.

“Coast Guard FRC Seizes Illegal Narcotics in Gulf of Oman” –Seapower/Same Job, Different Hemisphere

Personnel from U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) interdict a fishing vessel smuggling illegal narcotics in the Gulf of Oman, Aug. 30, 2022. U.S. COAST GUARD

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

A U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter interdicted a fishing vessel smuggling illegal drugs worth an estimated U.S. street value of $20 million while patrolling the Gulf of Oman, Aug. 30, NAVCENT Public Affairs said Aug. 31.

USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) seized 2,980 kilograms of hashish and 320 kilograms of amphetamine tablets during operations in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.

This is USCGC Glen Harris’ third drug bust since joining Patrol Forces SW Asia in January.

“Iranian ship intercepted while trying to detain American drone” –Breaking Defense

USS Thunderbolt, seen here in both Coast Guard and Navy markings during its period of service in the USCG. U.S. Coast Guard photo by David Schuffholz

Breaking Defense reports,

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet today announced it thwarted an attempt by an Iranian ship to seize an American unmanned surface vessel operating in the Arabian Gulf.

(See the video below.)

The unit that stopped this Iranian vessel from making off with the Saildrone was USS Thunderbolt (PC-12), supported by a helicopter of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, presumably an MH-60S. Vessels of this class are in the process of being decommissioned from the US Navy. Most of their functions will be performed USCG Webber class WPCs of Patrol Forces SW Asia.

This incident does seem to highlight a, not unexpected, aspect of Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) deployment. Rogue nations and even non-state actors may try to steal them. As we see here, there may be little or no consequences if they are caught in the act, so there is little to deter a repeated attempt.

Next time it happens, it is likely that a Coast Guard cutter will be sent to retrieve it.

Wikipedia provides this information on the Saildrone Explorer.

“The Saildrone Explorer is a 23-foot-long (7.0 m) USV that can sail at an average speed of 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) (depending on the wind) and stay at sea for up to 365 days. The Explorer is designed for fisheries missions, metocean data collection, ecosystem monitoring, and satellite calibration and validation missions.”

Bigger, more expensive and more capable Saildrones are on the way.

The US Coast Guard has been experimenting with Seadrones of this class, and has supported 5th Fleets experiments with them.

GULF OF AQABA (Feb. 13, 2022) The U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class cutter USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) sails near a U.S sail drone explorer during the International Maritime Exercise/Cutlass Express (IMX) 2022, Feb. 13, 2022. IMX/CE 2022 is the largest multinational training event in the Middle East, involving more than 60 nations and international organizations committed to enhancing partnerships and interoperability to strengthen maritime security and stability. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. DeAndre Dawkins)

Thanks to Walter for bringing this to my attention.

PATFORSWA Now Has Six Webber Class

220822-A-KS490-1182 STRAIT OF HORMUZ (Aug. 22, 2022) From the left, U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutters USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144), USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146), USCGC Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) transit the Strait of Hormuz, Aug. 22. The cutters are forward-deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet to help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Noah Martin)

The planned six Webber Class contingent for PATFORSWA is now complete. See the press release below.


08.23.2022

Story by NAVCENT Public Affairs   

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

MANAMA, Bahrain – Two U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutters arrived in Bahrain, Aug. 23, marking the arrival to their ultimate destination after departing Key West, Florida in June.

USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) are two of the Coast Guard’s six newest Sentinel-class fast response cutters (FRC) now stationed in Bahrain where U.S. 5th Fleet is headquartered.

“This arrival represents the culmination of years of tireless effort and exceptional teamwork,” said Capt. Eric Helgen, commander of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). “These newest FRCs bring us to our full complement of six ships and mark the beginning of a new era of extraordinary maritime capability supporting U.S. 5th Fleet.”

The Sentinel-class cutters in Bahrain are overseen by PATFORSWA, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States. The ships are forward-deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet to help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East.

“We are extremely excited to be here and look forward continuing to work with international partners in the region,” said Lt. David Anderson, commanding officer of Clarence Sutphin Jr. “Completing this more than 10,000-nautical-mile transit to Bahrain has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

John Scheuerman and Clarence Sutphin Jr. were commissioned in February and April 2022 respectively. The 154-foot long vessels feature advanced communications systems and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

“USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrives in Lisbon, Portugal”–Navy.mil–and Two More FRCs for PATFORSWA

USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC-1146) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC-1147) enroute PATFORSWA

Below is a Navy news release reporting the arrival of USCGC Mohawk in Lisbon. Somewhat surprisingly there is no mention of the two Webber class cutters pictured in an attached photo (above) and no photo of Mohawk.

Looking closely at the photo above, you can see they have the Counter Drone upgrades seen on other FRCs that have been assigned to PATFORSWA.

Obviously this is the last pair of Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) being transferred to Patrol Forces SW Asia (PATFORSWA). They were escorted across the Atlantic by Mohawk. Can’t believe I did not see the gorgeous photo below earlier. Perfect for 4th of July.

The USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913), USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146), and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) sail in formation in the Atlantic Ocean, June 22, 2022. The John Scheuerman and the Clarence Sutphin Jr. are the 46th and 47th Sentinel-class fast response cutters, respectively. They will become the fifth and sixth FRC’s to be homeported in Manama, Bahrain. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Fontenette)


USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrives in Lisbon, Portugal

29 June 2022

From U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

LISBON, Portugal – The Famous-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrived in Lisbon, Portugal for a scheduled port visit, June 29, 2022.

This port visit marks the first stop for Mohawk, while employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of operations. During the visit, Mohawk leadership will meet government leaders and military maritime counterparts, while the crew enjoys the rich cultural history of Portugal.

“It is a tremendous privilege to be here in Lisbon,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer aboard USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913). “Like the United States, Portugal has a rich and deep maritime history and combined maritime operations provide a critical opportunity to improve interoperability with our partners, and prove that we are stronger together.”

Earlier this month, Adm. Linda Fagan, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, visited Lisbon and met with Ambassador Randi Charno Levine and Portugal’s Chief of Naval Staff, Adm. Henrique Eduardo Passaláqua de Gouveia e Melo. Fagan is also the first woman, and first mother, to lead any of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Portugal has a long maritime history and their navy boasts 705 years of continuous service.

“Portugal is an important ally of the United States and plays a pivotal role in the security and cohesion of the Alliance,” said Rear Adm. Chase Patrick, director of maritime headquarters, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa. “Mohawk’s visit to Portugal demonstrates our shared goals for regional peace and stability.”

Mohawk is the 13th and last of the Famous-class cutters. It is named for the Algonquin tribe of Iroquoian Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York. Mohawk is the third cutter to bear the name. Mohawk’s parent command is U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

The U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area command oversees all domestic Service operations east of the Rocky Mountains, including the Arctic, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and out-of-hemisphere operations in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia. Atlantic Area is responsible for coordinating and deploying cutters, aircraft, pollution response equipment, and thousands of personnel throughout the globe to ensure resources, equipment, and personnel are available to support the Coast Guard’s statutory missions.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.

“US, Iran in Tense Sea Incident; Tehran Preps New Centrifuges” –Military.Com

USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC-1142)

As part of a new report of harassment of a US warship by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Forces, we get a belated report of an even closer incident that involve a Webber class cutter.

On March 4, three Guard ships had a tense encounter for over two hours with Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels as they traveled out of the Persian Gulf through the strait, the Navy said. In that incident, the Guard’s catamaran Shahid Nazeri came within 25 yards (22 meters) of the USCGC Robert Goldman, the Navy said.

This is not the first time a cutter has had a run-in with this particular IRGC vessel.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Catamaran Shahid Nazeri

Late addtition

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) Harth 55 conducts an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver while operating in close proximity to USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) as it transits the Strait of Hormuz, March 4. U.S. Navy Photo

“USCG’s Polar Security Cutters to Receive Mark 38 Mod 4 Guns” –Naval News

Naval News reports that the Polar Security Cutters will be armed with the new 30mm Mk38 Mod4 rather than the familiar 25mm Mk38 Mod2/3 which currently arms Webber class Fast Response Cutters.

There were a couple of additional pieces of information as well.

  • Other Coast Guard vessels will also get the Mod4.
  • There are no plans to replace existing 25mm mounts with the 30mm Mod4.

The answer on the Polar Security Cutters is probably definitive because it is still three years in the future. Presumably the Navy will use up the 25mm mounts they have already purchased before installing the Mod4. The Offshore Patrol Cutter program extends so far into the future, it is likely most of them will receive the 30mm.

I would argue, vessels for which the Mk38 is the primary armament, particularly if they have only one, should receive a higher priority for the more capable Mod4 since we know the 30mm is more effective than the 25mm, and these vessels have no more powerful alternative weapon they could employ. It appears the WMEC270 that are going through the service life extension program fall in this category.

As for upgrading existing installations, there is a strong case to be made for upgrading the PATFORSWA Webber class WPCs. The 30mm offers options that are not available for the 25mm including an airburst round that can be used against UAVs and a swimmer round that is particularly effective against swarming fast inshore attack craft, both significant threats in the Persian Gulf.

The post also refers to the possibility of mounting missiles on the mount. That possibility was discussed in more detail here. I would like to see all the 25mm guns replaced by the 30mm, but if the earlier Mk38 Mod2/3 mounts were modified to mount APKWS guided rockets or Hellfire and its successor, there would be less need for the larger caliber gun.

“2021 Naval Engineering Awards Recipients Announced” –My CG

Coast Guard Cutters Emlen Tunnell and Glen Harris are moored pierside in Beirut, Lebanon, Jan. 31, 2022. The two fast response cutters are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. U.S. Army photo by Cpl. DeAndre Dawkins.

MyCG announced special recognition of significant Naval Engineering accomplishments in the form of awards. I would like to point out one element, in one award statement, because it is the only official statement, I have seen so far regarding upgrades to the Webber class cutters that are assigned to Patrol Forces SW Asia.

“CAPTAIN RICHARD D. POORE AWARD…Mr. Michael Parrish, Deputy Product Line Manager, Surface Forces Logistics Center (SFLC) Patrol Boat Product Line (PBPL)…He used innovative financial methods to procure $4.7 million in warfighting packages to outfit six PATFORSWA cutters to help protect the U.S. Fifth Fleet.”