Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell Arrives in Tubruq, Libya

TUBRUQ, Libya — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell (WHEC 719) arrived in Tubruq, Libya on May 31, 2009 as part of a theater security cooperation mission to strengthen the maritime partnership between the United States and Libya.

Boutwell is the first U.S. military ship to visit Libya in more than forty years. During the ship’s three-day port visit, the crew will conduct various training and leadership exchanges with Libyan maritime enforcement personnel and also participate in several cultural exchanges.

Training topics range from international search and rescue operations to damage control training and techniques.

The ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Kevin Cavanaugh, and Commander, Task Force 68, Captain “Red” Smith began the visit with official calls to local military and civilian leaders followed by a luncheon aboard the ship with the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Gene A. Cretz, and other military and civilian officials.

While in port, Boutwell crewmembers will have opportunities to visit local cultural sites of interest and interact with Libyan military and civilians through a variety of engagements including informal dinner receptions hosted by both Libyan military officials and Boutwell.

Boutwell is one of 12 of the U.S. Coast Guard’s high endurance cutters and is homeported on Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California. On deployment since January, the ship and its crew have trained with numerous maritime, naval and coast guard forces; conducted counter-piracy and maritime security patrols off the Horn of Africa and in the Arabian Sea; and participated in the multinational exercise “AMAN ’09”, hosted by the Pakistani Navy.

The cutter is currently in support of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

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