Coast Guard Hosting Russian Border Guard Delegation

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The U.S. Coast Guard is hosting a Russian Border Guard delegation visit this week in the Bay Area, treating the Russians to a tour of the Bay aboard the Coast Guard cutter George Cobb, a search and rescue demonstration and a visit to the training center in Petaluma.

The delegation consists of nine officers of the Russian Border Guard, whose missions closely resemble the U.S. Coast Guard’s missions, such as border protection and fisheries law enforcement.

The exchange of ideas and practices is designed to help the border guard develop its work force from a draft service to an all-volunteer agency.

Both the U.S. and Russia are members of the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, along with Canada, China, South Korea and Japan. Delegations meet formally twice a year with an experts meeting in the spring and a principals summit in the summer in order to develop best practices and make them official with signed bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements. Delegations from all six countries met in Seattle March 24-27 for the experts meeting . The principal’s summit is scheduled for Sept. 8-12 in San Francisco.

Such agreements allow for more effective mission execution, as in last summer’s seizure of several illegal high seas drift net vessels. Assisted by Russian and Canadian aircraft spotters, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Boutwell, with a Chinese law enforcement rider aboard… enforced a United Nations agreement supporting a ban on high-seas drift net fishing. Boutwell, a 378-foot cutter homeported in Alameda, Calif., located and seized six vessels suspected of illegal fishing. Many maritime nations, including the United States, have undertaken to monitor and deter high-seas drift net fishing, and protect shared living marine resources and their environments.

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