A couple of items that might be of interest.
If there was any doubt about the viciousness of the drug wars in Mexico, this ought to clarify things: Recently a Mexican Navy Vice Admiral was ambushed and murdered.
The Italian Coast Guard launches the first of two new ships. Relatively large at 310 feet long and 3,600 tons full load, but not nearly as capable as the projected Offshore Patrol Cutter, to me this looks like an adaptation of an oil industry Offshore Support Vessel. Most interesting feature is electric propulsion. Raytheon’s integrated bridge system might also be interesting, but there are no details in the story. Reasonable question is, can they can function effectively with a crew of only 38 or do they need additional augmentation for each mission. Apparently they can routinely berth up to 60 in addition to the crew, and up to 600 additional in case of an emergency. This last is a reflection of Italy’s Alien Migrant Interdiction problem.
The Mexican Navy has taken delivery of the first of four Airbus Military CN235 aircraft equipped as Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) paralleling the Coast Guard’s own planned procurement of 36 CN235s as HC-144A.
The delivery was made through EADS North America under the Mérida Initiative, a joint program between the US Government and the Government of Mexico.
gCaptain has an interesting post, “Tehran’s Ghost Fleet,” on how Iran has re-flagged and renamed some of their vessels and used shell corporations in an attempt to circumvent sanctions, including references to connections in China and Mexico.
Cutter Escanaba is participating in Exercise UNITAS, April 15 to May 9, along with Destroyer Nitze and Frigates Boone and Thach.
Escanaba is a very internet savvy ship. You can follow her on facebook here. Other participants will include units from Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
Reading the reports of the murder of Texan David Hartley by “pirates” (legally this is not piracy) on Falcon Lake on the border between the US and Mexico, I’ve seen no mention of the Coast Guard in connection with the case, perhaps because we haven’t been allowed to search on the Mexican side of the Lake.
The 25 mile long, three mile wide lake is artificial, resulting from the damming of the Rio Grande, but the resulting waterway is in some ways analogous to the Great Lakes. It also appears to be a ready route for smuggling people, drugs and guns. Do we have any units on Falcon Lake? If not, should we?