Coast Guard delivers humanitarian aid to remote Pacific islands

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard Cutter Assateague, a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Guam, delivered humanitarian supplies to residents of remote islands in the Pacific May 27.

In conjunction with Assateague’s law enforcement patrol, the crew coordinated efforts with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Northern Island’s Mayor’s Office to provide assistance with the delivery of vital supplies to the people of the Northern Islands.

Due to the limited number of resources available to transport supplies up the archipelago, the crew delivered supplies provided by the CNMI’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security totaling more than 1,000 pounds including gasoline, batteries, clothing, drinking water and food.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Cutter Assateague, a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Guam, delivers vital humanitarian supplies to the remote island of Alamagan in the Northern Mariana Islands May 27, 2014. In conjunction with Assateague's law enforcement patrol, the crew coordinated efforts with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' (CNMI) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Northern Island's Mayor's Office to provide assistance with the delivery of vital supplies to the people of the Northern Islands. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Freddy Hofschneider)

A boat crew from Coast Guard Cutter Assateague, a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Guam, delivers vital humanitarian supplies to the remote island of Alamagan in the Northern Mariana Islands May 27, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Freddy Hofschneider

“On behalf of Honorable Governor Eloy S. Inos and Honorable Mayor Tobias Aldan, we would like to extend our utmost appreciation and thank you to the finest crew onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Assateague for the humanitarian assistance that they have provided to the residents on the islands of Alamagan and Pagan,” stated Marving Seman of the CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “The transport of those critical essentials such as food and water was well received and appreciated by the community. We hope to continue this worthwhile effort and partnership for the benefit of our community.”

Alamagan is one of the northern islands of the CNMI located approximately 288 miles north of Saipan. The island is the summit of a composite volcano rising more than 13,000 feet and home to less than seven residents.

Pagan is approximately 70 miles north of Alamagan and is the fourth largest island of the CNMI. Once evacuated due to an eruption in 1981, Pagan is currently home to a small community of eleven residents.

“As Coast Guardsmen it is always rewarding to assist those in need. Our cooperation with the Northern Islands provided a unique opportunity for us to assist the 20 or so residents who remain here and overcome some unique challenges during the delivery,” said Lt. Jared Silverman, commanding officer of Assateague. “Our small boat crew did an exceptional job maneuvering near the cliffs at Alamagan to deliver the supplies, and the entirety of the operation is testament to the adaptability of the cutter and her crew.”

Assateague’s assigned missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, ports waterways and coastal security and national defense. The Assateague has an area of responsibility equivalent to the size of the continental United States.

The aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats are scheduled to be replaced by the new Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters. The FRC will deliver vital capability to the Coast Guard, helping to meet the service’s need for additional patrol boats.

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