Interagency partners conduct search and rescue exercise in Oceania

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — The 14th Coast Guard District conducted an international search and rescue (SAR) exercise with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Tuesday as part of a U.S. Navy led operation called Operation Pacific Partnership 2013.

As part of the exercise, the Coast Guard partnered with the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority (MIMRA), Marshall Islands Sea Patrol, Australian Maritime Security Advisor (MSA) and U.S. Embassy Majuro to validate newly drafted international SAR procedures between the 14th District and the Marshall Islands.

A MIMRA vessel was set adrift between Majuro Atoll and Anro Island to simulate an overdue vessel and the RMI Sea Patrol began search planning and making official SAR assistance requests through the U.S. Embassy for a search action plan.  Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu provided search areas for the RMIS LOMOR, a Pacific Patrol Boat, using Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) derived drifts and the exercise was successfully concluded.

SAROPS is a software system that uses simulated particles generated by users in a graphical interface to calculate search areas.

A forward deployed 14th District SAR subject matter expert worked alongside RMI Sea Patrol personnel employing new SAR procedures.

“The purpose of the exercise was to examine existing SAR policies and procedures, as well as validate a newly drafted SAR guideline for cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Republic of the Marshall Islands,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Jackson, District 14 Command Center and Joint Rescue Coordination Center Chief. “Additionally, District 14 deployed a specialized team to train the RMI Sea Patrol in SAR mission planning, coordination and communications.  This exercise served to build SAR response capacity through successful integration of operations between the U.S. Coast Guard, the US Embassy in Majuro and RMI national officials.”


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