Coast Guard hosts international exercise

PORT ANGELES, Wash. – The Coast Guard is hosting North Pacific Coast Guard Forum member nations at a multi-lateral, multi-mission exercise through Thursday, here and in Seattle.

This year’s exercise is called Pacific Unity and participants will conduct a series of drills designed to test communications and enhance the interoperability of the crews.

The North Pacifc Coast Guard Forum was initiated by the Japan Coast Guard in 2000, and is a voluntary, non-treaty based organization of Coast Guard or Coast Guard-like agencies from: Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

“Pacific Unity is robust,” said Capt. Greg Sundgaard, head of the combined operations working group. “We will be conducting drills in areas of common interest for Forum partners, such as, search and rescue, aids to navigation, and port state control.”

Crews will be adapting to dynamic scenarios that change based on information provided by the staff managing the underway portion of Pacific Unity.

This is the first time the Coast Guard has ever hosted a full-scale North Pacific Coast Guard Forum exercise in U.S. waters. It is also the first visit of a Russian Border Guard vessel to the lower 48 states and the first time Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard buoy tenders will set each other’s coastal buoys on the West Coast.

“Our countries each recognize that the Pacific Ocean is a big backyard that none of us can keep watch on alone. We need each other to help combat the types of common threats we face on the high seas,” said Sundgaard.

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