Coast Guard cutter home after 164-day, 32,000 nautical-mile patrol to the Western Pacific

A family waits for the arrival of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf July 2, 2019, at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California. The crew of the Bertholf left Jan. 20 for a patrol in the Western Pacific where they patrolled and enforced United Nations Security Council Resolution Sanctions against North Korea by monitoring and gathering intelligence on vessels conducting ship-to-ship transfers in the East China, South China and Yellow Seas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi)

A family waits for the arrival of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf July 2, 2019, at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi)

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) returned Tuesday to their homeport of Alameda following a 164-day deployment to the Western Pacific.

The crew steamed nearly 32,000 nautical miles since they departed Alameda Jan. 20 amidst the partial-government shutdown.

Under the tactical control of commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, the crew patrolled and conducted operations as directed including enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution Sanctions against North Korea by monitoring and gathering intelligence on vessels conducting ship-to-ship transfers in the East China, South China and Yellow Seas.

Bertholf’s crew made history March 24-25 as the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to transit the Taiwan Strait.

Bertholf’s crew engaged in professional exchanges, community relations events and capacity-building exercises with navies and coast guards in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, including at-sea joint search-and-rescue and interdiction exercises.

Bertholf also made a multi-day port call to Hong Kong, marking the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to visit the city in 17 years.

The U.S. Coast Guard has an enduring role in the Indo-Pacific, going back over 150 years. The service’s ongoing deployment of resources directly supports U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is proud to operate with our Pacific counterparts, and together we are dedicated to enhancing our capabilities and strengthening maritime governance and security while promoting individual sovereignty,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Area.

Commissioned in 2008, Bertholf is the first of the Coast Guard’s legend class national security cutters and the first national security cutter to deploy to the Western Pacific. Alameda-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton departed June 5 for a months-long Western Pacific deployment.

These technologically-advanced ships 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 accommodate a crew of up to 170.

National security cutters feature advanced command-and-control capabilities, aviation support facilities, stern cutter boat launch and increased endurance for long-range patrols to disrupt threats to national security further offshore.

The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission its seventh and eighth national security cutters, the Coast Guard Cutters Kimball (WMSL 756) and Midgett (WMSL 757) in August. Both cutters will be homeported in Honolulu and will enhance the Coast Guard’s presence throughout the Indo-Pacific.

“The U.S. Coast Guard’s unique authorities, capabilities, and missions make us the maritime safety and security partner of choice for sea-going countries around the world,” Fagan said. “Our increased presence throughout the Indo-Pacific will enhance regional stability and improve maritime governance and security.”

 

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