Coast Guard builds ties with partners in Tunisia

Coast Guard Cutter Charles Moulthrope seen from the Tunisian navy vessel Jugurtha (P 610) during a boarding exercise in the Mediterranean Sea on April 23, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sydney Niemi/Released)

Coast Guard Cutter Charles Moulthrope seen from the Tunisian navy vessel Jugurtha (P 610) during a boarding exercise in the Mediterranean Sea on April 23, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sydney Niemi)

TUNIS, Tunisia — The Sentinel-class fast response cutters USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) departed Tunis after a routine logistics visit and key leader engagements, April 25, 2021.

This port visit marks the cutters’ second stop while conducting operations in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility en route to their new homeport of Manama, Bahrain.

The Moulthrope and Goldman work in Tunis builds on previous military operations with Tunisian forces such as the USCGC Bear (WMEC 901) deployment conducting military-to-military operations with the Tunisian navy and royal Moroccan navy in 1999, and USCGC Dallas (WHEC 716) work with Tunisian navy counterparts to share best practices for responding to maritime issues and at-sea emergencies in 1995 as well as ongoing international training efforts.

This visit is a continuation of our commitment to our Tunisian partners, further enhancing cooperation between U.S. and Tunisian forces in support of shared security goals. In January 2021, Military Sealift Command Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Trenton (T EPF 5) and Tunisian navy partners conducted joint maritime operations to enhance maritime security, critical lifesaving capabilities, and Tunisia’s ability to protect its maritime borders.

“The exercises showcased both the Tunisian naval forces and U.S. Coast Guard’s ability to operate as multi-mission partners through a variety of exercises ranging from defense operations to search and rescue and illegal fisheries enforcement — all of which highlighted our services’ similarities in both missions and responsibilities,” said Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Blase, commanding officer, Robert Goldman.

During their stop in Tunis, Moulthrope and Goldman engaged with navy leadership, local dignitaries and conducted military-to-military exercises with the Tunisian navy for interoperability and familiarization.

“It was an honor to help lead the first U.S. Coast Guard visit to Tunisia in over 25 years and strengthen our partnership with the Tunisian naval force. The engagements and maritime exercises highlighted service capabilities, promoted interoperability between both nations, and enhanced stability throughout the Mediterranean Sea,” said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Hulse, commanding officer of Charles Moulthrope.

Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman are en route to their new homeport in Bahrain in support of the Navy’s U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. While in the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet area of responsibility, the crews will support engagements with partner countries strengthening relationships and demonstrating our continued commitment to global maritime security and stability.

Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman are the first two of six Sentinel-class ships headed to U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. Established in 2002 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, PATFORSWA played a critical role in maritime security and maritime infrastructure protection operations. It is the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States.

The U.S. Coast Guard remains operational during COVID-19, following all COVID-19 safety precautions and regulations.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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