Commandant of the Coast Guard Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp recently visited the Kingdom of Bahrain for an annual visit to Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and to meet with key maritime partners.
Today, in the South Atlantic, maintaining international law is a collaborative effort involving a maritime presence from 15 countries. These 15 countries contribute to the multinational detection, monitoring and interdiction operation working together to deny transnational criminal organizations the ability to exploit transshipment routes for the movement of narcotics, precursor chemicals, bulk cash and weapons along Central American shipping routes.
Ireland has a coast guard with a more focused mission, search and rescue. Their singular-mission focus has helped foster improved maritime safety and the Commandant saw several examples during his visit with the Irish Coast Guard.
In 2009 the U.S secretary of Homeland Security and the Canadian minister of public safety signed the framework agreement on maritime law enforcement operations between Canada and the United States, which allows the Coast Guard and the RCMP to work side-by-side enforcing laws in U.S. and Canadian waters. These operations represent a truly cooperative approach to combating cross-border crime on the shared waterways of Canada and the United States.
Coast Guard Cutter Forward recently completed an international naval exercise to build partnerships between 15 nations. Who was the key to connecting those partner nations? Seaman Juan Garcia-Perez. As a dual citizen of the United States and Colombia, and a fluent Spanish speaker, Garcia-Perez was the lead communicator for maritime forces during Forward’s participation in UNITAS 2013.
While operating in the northern waters of the Gulf, a small vessel capsized in a remote area leaving five Iranian mariners stranded with no one to rescue them. This was the scenario these men faced prior to their chance discovery by the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maui. Rescue did not come to their aid until this 110-foot Coast Guard cutter happened to come across the mariners whose lives were saved by the quick-thinking Coast Guard crew. The crew, who had trained intensely for such a situation, swiftly moved into action in the early morning hours of Oct. 11, while assigned to Combined Task Force 152.
“Now, go-fast, go-fast, go-fast. All hands set the go-fast bill.” Early in the afternoon on Oct. 9, 2013, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, this announcement was heard over every intercom speaker on board Coast Guard Cutter Rush after an Air Station Sacramento HC-130 Hercules airplane sighted two suspicious vessels.
What happens when the U.S. Coast Guard partners with the Royal Navy? An estimated wholesale value of $16 million worth of drugs never made it on the streets. The interdiction of 2,155 pounds of marijuana and 420 kilograms of cocaine stemmed from two separate interdictions near San Andres, Colombia. The first interdiction involved the Royal Navy warship HMS Lancaster with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Team aboard.
Inside the thick red hull of Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a multitude of crewmembers, scientists and support staff hustle to and fro, performing their various jobs in preparation for operations during Arctic Shield 2013. The 420-foot icebreaker reached its destination amidst the ice floes of the cold Arctic waters, and everyone is eager to begin deploying the five unique technologies aboard the ship that could have the ability to enhance oil detection and recovery capabilities in the Arctic.
Coast Guard Cutter Forward, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va., represented the United States alongside their shipmates from the USS Rentz. They were joined by naval forces from Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the United Kingdom.