Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk returns from 92-day AFRICOM deployment

The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) backs in to the pier in Key West, Florida, Sept. 12, 2022. The cutter's crew returned home following a 92-day deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Melissa Leake)

The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) backs in to the pier in Key West, Florida, Sept. 12, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Melissa Leake)

KEY WEST, Fla. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) returned to their homeport Monday, following a 92-day deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe – Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet, to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

Mohawk began its deployment as surface action group commander, leading the transatlantic escort of two newly commissioned 154-foot, Sentinel-class cutters, Coast Guard Cutter Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) and Coast Guard Cutter John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) from Key West, Florida, to the Sixth Fleet area of operations.

While on deployment, Mohawk made significant advances in combating illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing conducting multinational law enforcement operations at sea in the Atlantic basin. Their efforts served to strengthen existing relationships with African nations, and prioritized opportunities for new partnerships with allies who share common interests in the region.

Mohawk’s crew also worked closely with eight partner nation navies, sailing nearly 19,000 nautical miles in support of American interests abroad. Leading training exercises at-sea and in port, Mohawk hosted diplomatic engagements and participated in community relations events during port visits to Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Mohawk was the first United States warship to moor in The Gambia since 1994.

“I am extremely proud of this crew and all they have accomplished over the last three months,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer of Mohawk. “We are operating in a global Coast Guard and Mohawk’s ability to deploy across the Atlantic Ocean and work alongside our European and Atlantic African partners to combat piracy and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing drives home the United States’ commitment to security, stability, and prosperity in the region.”

Mohawk’s deployment also demonstrated the United States’ longstanding commitment of supporting African partners by addressing their security challenges in the maritime domain. The U.S. maritime services routinely work with allied and partner nations to foster a united, global effort to safeguard free and open access to international waterways.

“The successful deployment of USCGC Mohawk to the Gulf of Guinea highlights our continued commitment to our West African partners,” said Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “The U.S. Coast Guard is a valued member of the Joint Force, providing unique authorities and capabilities to aid partner nations as they address security and prosperity challenges. Our collaboration and sharing of best practices with our West African counterparts allows us to assist in combating narcotics smuggling, promoting freedom of commerce, and deterring illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in their waters.”

Mohawk deployed with 18 temporarily assigned members, including a Coast Guard physician’s assistant from Training Center Cape May, a Coast Guard aviation detachment and MH-65E Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Houston, and a law enforcement detachment team.

While at sea, Mohawk’s crew completed aviation, damage control, engineering, seamanship and navigation training to maintain operational readiness and prepare for future multi-mission deployments. Mohawk’s crew also located, and successfully freed, five sea turtles trapped in hundreds of feet of abandoned fishing gear shortly after departing Dakar, Senegal.

Commissioned in March 1991, Mohawk is the 13th and last of the Famous-class Coast Guard cutters. It is named for the Algonquin tribe of Iroquoian Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York, and is the third cutter to bear the name. Mohawk is homeported in Key West, Florida.

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