U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Akaninyene Inyang proudly bears the U.S. Army 333rd Field Artillery Battalion flag in the annual U.S. Memorial Wereth ceremony in Wereth, Belgium, April 28, 2018. The ceremony honors the 11 African-American soldiers killed by Nazi SS troops at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

U.S. Coast Guard in Belgium! Why?

On April 28, 2018, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe attended the annual U.S. Memorial Wereth ceremony in Wereth, Belgium, to honor 11 African-American soldiers murdered by Nazi SS troops during the second day of the Battle of the Bulge. Each year members of the U.S. armed forces throughout Europe, including many members of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe, gather in the tiny hamlet of Wereth, Belgium, to help honor and pay respect to the 11 G.I.s from the U.S. Army 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and all African-American G.I.s who fought in Europe during WWII.


Lt. Cmdr. Jose Tony Mercado, Economic Officer Alexander MacFarlane, Ministry of Transportation General Company for Ports of Iraq Official, Deputy Principal Officer James Merz and Lt. Cmdr. Paul Rudick stand for a photo aboard an Iraqi naval ship. The Iraqi naval ship is one of two ships that took the team out to Khor al-Amaya Oil Terminal offshore terminal. Photo courtesy of Consulate General Basrah.

International Port Security Program: Spotlight Activities Europe

In partnership with the Department of State, the International Port Security Program is on the forefront of American foreign policy collaborating with maritime trading partners to create safer oceans and ports in places one would never think the U.S. Coast Guard would be working in. Lt. Cmdr. Jose Tony Mercado, who completed a tour in the IPS Program Atlantic Area office and recently reported to Activities Europe, has been to more than a few of the places most don’t commonly picture the Coast Guard traveling to and working with, including Cuba, Venezuela, Senegal, and most recently to Iraq.