Coast Guard patrol enhances partnerships

The USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) is the first vessel back to Guam following the opening of the port as crews from the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia welcome the 154-foot Fast Response Cutters back to Guam and continue recovery operations in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas on May 28, 2023. Typhoon Mawar hit Guam with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and gusts of up to 165 mph, the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir)

The USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) is the first vessel back to Guam following the opening of the port as crews from the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia welcome the 154-foot Fast Response Cutters back to Guam and continue recovery operations in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas on May 28, 2023.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir)

SANTA RITA, Guam — The Coast Guard Cutter Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) crew completed a patrol from May 7 to 23, 2023, showcasing the invaluable partnerships and enhanced interoperability between the U.S. Coast Guard and its regional allies in the dynamic strategic environment of the Pacific under the ongoing Operation Rematau.

During the patrol, the Frederick Hatch crew engaged in several significant activities, highlighting the commitment to deepening partnerships and safeguarding the Pacific region. These achievements demonstrate the U.S. Coast Guard’s sustained regional presence and dedication to promoting maritime security and cooperation.

Capt. Nick Simmons, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia, emphasized the importance of the U.S. Coast Guard’s sustained regional presence and commitment to deepening partnerships, stating, “Our continued engagement in the Pacific allows us to strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones that will be remembered generations from now. The success of the USCGC Frederick Hatch’s patrol demonstrates our dedication to promoting regional security and cooperation in this strategic environment. With most of our operations and facilities reconstituted following Typhoon Mawar, we are continuing our regular patrols and service to the people of the Marianas and the region.”

One of the significant accomplishments was a gunnery exercise conducted with the U.S. Navy Maritime Expeditionary Security Group One Detachment. This joint exercise bolstered the defense capabilities and partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy in the IndoPacom area of responsibilities while supporting the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy.

In addition, the Frederick Hatch crew played a vital role in assistance efforts, transporting donated household goods, clothes, and a generous supply of dog and cat food weighing over 2,500 pounds to support the Saipan Humane Society in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Furthermore, they facilitated the transportation of the mayor of the Northern Islands of CNMI to visit constituents on Agrihan and Alamagan Islands over 120 nautical miles north of Saipan. The crew also delivered crucial supplies, including outboard engines and a small luxury in the form of a birthday cake to support the needs of the local communities in those areas. At the request of the residents, this also included religious services. A U.S. Navy chaplain accompanied the crew and provided a mass on Agrihan.

The Frederick Hatch crew spent time in Saipan conducting navigation training with the CNMI Department of Public Safety Boating Safety Unit and the CNMI Customs and Biosecurity Marine Unit as part of ongoing training initiatives. These collaborative efforts aim to improve interagency coordination and enhance future regional maritime operations.

This patrol also included two maritime law enforcement boardings under the authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission on the high seas, located 500 nautical miles west of Guam. This enforcement action showcases the extended presence and enforcement capabilities of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam outside of historical or typical patrol regions. The Frederick Hatch’s crew also undertook a joint patrol of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the PSS Remeliik II crew, patrolling along Palau’s shared EEZ border with the Philippines to combat illegal fishing.

At the end of the patrol, they met up with USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) and USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140), who sortied from Guam in advance of Typhoon Mawar and conducted storm avoidance in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. This effort and the port’s reopening enabled the cutters to be the first ships to enter port after the storm. Coordinating with U.S. Coast Guard District 14 and U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam, all three ships safely avoided Typhoon Mawar and were poised to conduct missions and respond to emergent needs immediately following the storm.

Lt. Patrick Dreiss, commanding officer of USCGC Frederick Hatch, commended his crew’s performance, stating, “This patrol was another great example of the adaptability of the Frederick Hatch crew, tackling the interesting challenges of Micronesia. Anchoring and coming ashore on sparsely populated islands is not easy, but visiting and supporting those who enjoy living on the islands of their families and ancestors is necessary. The hospitality of the residents and Mayor Taisacan is greatly appreciated, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for myself and the crew to visit Agrigan and Alamagan. The first joint patrol with PSS Remeliik II was short but laid the additional groundwork for future operations between Guam-based FRCs and our partners’ patrol boats across Micronesia. And rounding out our patrol steaming with our fellow Coast Guard cutters as the first ships back into Apra Harbor after Typhoon Mawar made me proud to be a Coast Guardsman in Guam.”

The recent patrol of the USCGC Frederick Hatch highlights the U.S. Coast Guard’s unwavering commitment to strengthening partnerships, fostering interoperability, and promoting regional security in the Pacific under Operation Rematau, furthering the overarching Operation Blue Pacific. The achievements of this patrol underscore the significant role played by U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam members in ensuring a safe and secure maritime environment.


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