Coast Guard completes first patrol following Typhoon Mawar

Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor crew picks up passengers from USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) as they depart Apra Harbor June 12, 2023, for a patrol serving partners in the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.

Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor crew picks up passengers from USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) as they depart Apra Harbor June 12, 2023, for a patrol serving partners in the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.

SANTA RITA, Guam — Serving partners in the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew returned to Guam in time for Father’s Day, completing a patrol from June 12 to 18 in the Mariana Islands.

During the patrol, the Oliver Henry crew dedicated efforts to serve neighbors in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam while actively countering potential illegal maritime activity and standing ready to respond rapidly to any at-sea emergencies.

The Oliver Henry crew played a vital role as the search and rescue response cutter during a dedicated five days in the CNMI, accumulating 119 operational hours. Additionally, the crew spent a day on the high seas east of the CNMI, ensuring expanded coverage to counter illegal fishing and bolstering regional security efforts.

Capt. Nick Simmons, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia, highlighted the importance of service to our northern communities, stating, “We are dedicated to maintaining strong partnerships in the area and deterring illegal maritime activity. We also take the safety of those on the water seriously. Our presence and collaborative efforts in the CNMI reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of our maritime environment and the well-being of our communities.”

Acting on information from local partners, the crew made their presence off Saipan known and effectively deterred those seeking to come to Guam through an unannounced entry, preventing the departure of an estimated 30 people from Saipan. The U.S. Coast Guard’s focus in this matter is the safety of life at sea and preventing illegal charters. Both issues threaten lives through the potential overloading of vessels, a lack of compliance with safety requirements and licensing, and risky behavior when operating vessels.

The Oliver Henry crew also executed a law enforcement boarding of opportunity on the high seas under the authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, specifically on a Chinese-Taipei flagged long liner. The boarding team performed their duties, observing no violations or records of transshipment. Additionally, the patrol provided valuable training opportunities by hosting two temporary duty members from Guam-based units, contributing to the overall development and readiness of Coast Guard personnel.

Lt. Raymond Cerrato, commanding officer of Oliver Henry, commended the crew’s exceptional performance, emphasizing the significance of joint operations and recognizing individual crewmember achievements stating, “The success of our patrol stems from the dedication and teamwork displayed by the USCGC Oliver Henry crew. By conducting law enforcement boardings, offshore gunnery exercises, and providing training opportunities, we demonstrated our crew’s exceptional capabilities and commitment to serving the people of CNMI and Guam.”

In recognition of individual achievements, the commanding officer frocked one crewmember to the next higher pay grade, and the team bid farewell to two departing members, acknowledging their dedication and contributions to the regional mission.

The recent patrol of the Oliver Henry underscores the U.S. Coast Guard’s steadfast commitment to safety at sea, upholding maritime security, fostering partnerships, and maintaining interoperability in the Western Pacific. The U.S. Coast Guard plays a vital role in ensuring a safe and secure maritime environment by serving neighbors, countering illegal activities, and responding rapidly to emergencies.

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