Coast Guardsmen train Iraqi navy crews

Coast Guard Headquarters NewsUMM QASR, Iraq — The Coast Guard Cutter Adak conducted training with Iraqi navy units here Wednesday, during the first port visit made by a U.S. military ship since the end of Operation New Dawn and the end of the war in Iraq.

Adak crewmembers provided training to their Iraqi counterparts in subjects including voyage planning, navigation and towing operations. Iraqi navy sailors toured the Adak, and then received hands-on training in towing and navigation from Adak’s crew. The Adak crew then toured Iraqi patrol boats and further partnered with those crews.

“I am encouraged to see continued engagements between our maritime forces,” said Lt. Shawn Deweese, commanding officer of the Adak. “Adak was part of the strategic withdrawal of Coast Guard training and advisory personnel from Iraq in August. We are pleased to be afforded the opportunity to return and provide training as maritime professionals and to continue promoting maritime cooperation between our countries.”

Military-to-military engagements enhance cooperation and interoperability, enhance mutual maritime capabilities and promote long-term regional stability and security. Through theater security cooperation engagements, such as this port visit and training evolution, U.S. maritime forces continue to strengthen the partnership with the Iraqi navy, while assisting both forces to build capability, collaboration and professionalism. Coast Guard Mobile Training Teams delivered maritime training and capacity-building assistance to more than 50 nations, training thousands of host country participants and engaging in security cooperation activities with partner nations including Coast Guard-conducted anti-piracy operations near the Horn of Africa.

“I am extremely proud of Adak’s success during their latest Umm Qasar, Iraq port visit, said Coast Guard Capt. Cameron Naron, commodore, Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. “Their thorough preparation, professionalism, and flexibility contributed significantly to continued successful military-to-military cooperation with the Iraqi navy.”

Patrol boats like the 110-foot, Island-class Adak, are the workhorses of America’s littoral maritime fleet. Possessing superior speed and flexibility, Coast Guard patrol boats deliver the Coast Guard’s unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise where needed – along the coasts of the U.S. or around the globe.

The Adak is one of six Coast Guard patrol boats assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, under Commander, Task Force 55. The Adak gained notoriety in the early stages of the Iraq war during Operation Iraqi Freedon, when the crew captured an Iraqi Republican Guard crewmember from a destroyed PB-90 gunboat, while conducting maritime interdiction operations on the Khawr Abd Allah Waterway. The Adak rescued the POW, who was suffering from hypothermia, from the Khawr Abd Allah Waterway, taking what was to be one of the first maritime POWs of the war. To learn more about the Coast Guard’s role in the Iraq war visit the Coast Guard Historian’s site at this link..

The Adak, and the other 41 Island-class, patrol boats, are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters. The fast response cutter is capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and can operate in seas up to 18-feet. Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four, .50 caliber machine guns, the fast response cutter provides lethal firepower for national defense or homeland security missions in the littoral zone, while its speed and stability deliver tremendous lifesaving and law enforcement capabilities in the same package.

 

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