sábado, 5 de enero de 2019

Alameda-based Coast Guard cutter and crew return home for the holidays following 105-day Western Pacific Ocean deployment

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Munro returned to their homeport at Coast Guard Island on Dec. 24, following a 105-day, multi-mission deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean. 
The cutter, with an embarked MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, traveled over 17,000 nautical miles during their Western Pacific Living Marine Resources patrol. Munro’s law enforcement teams conducted 10 at-sea inspections of foreign flagged fishing vessels on the high seas to counter illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing practices in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission area. 

Under a newly signed bilateral agreement between the United States and Fiji, Munro became the first U.S. Coast Guard asset to embark a Fijian navy shiprider. 

The shiprider agreement, signed Nov. 12 by Michael Goldman, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Suva and Fiji’s Minister of Defense Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, allows Fijian officials to board United States’ assets and conduct law enforcement from them in Fiji’s territorial waters. The agreement allows both nations to pursue common causes such as fisheries protection.

Fisheries are an important renewable source of food and income to many Pacific nations and it is in both Fiji and the United States’ interests to protect those resources from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The agreement allows both nations to cooperate toward common goals and regional stability. 

Prior to arriving in Fiji, the cutter visited the Solomon Islands and held a rededication ceremony at a memorial to the cutter’s namesake, Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro. Munro gave his life during the Battle of Guadalcanal and is the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient. 

“The crew worked tirelessly to execute 10 fisheries boardings, 186 flight evolutions, and dozens of boat operations in support of fisheries enforcement, which demonstrates the importance of the U.S. Coast Guard’s presence in the Western Pacific,” said Munro’s commanding officer Capt. Jim Estramonte. 

“Munro’s successful deployment paves the way for future Coast Guard Oceania patrols. Having the opportunity to bring the cutter to Guadalcanal, a place of Coast Guard lore, made the patrol even more meaningful for the crew.” 

Munro is The Coast Guard’s sixth National Security Cutter, which are capable of executing multiple national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. These Legend Class cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide, and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 142.

The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission its seventh National Security Cutter, the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball, in the coming months. Kimball will be homeported in Honolulu, HI and will enhance the Coast Guard’s presence throughout the Indo-Pacific. 

“As the Department of Homeland Security’s sole armed service, the Coast Guard’s unique authorities, capabilities, missions, and partnerships enable us to expertly engage in the Indo-Pacific,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, The Coast Guard’s Pacific Area Commander. 

“Coast Guard Cutter Munro’s deployment demonstrates that security abroad equals security at home: enhancing our partners’ capabilities is a force multiplier in combating transnational criminal and terrorist organizations, deterring our adversaries, and protecting the United States’ interests.”