U.S Navy and Coast Guard begin Oceania maritime security initiative patrol

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The U.S Navy and U.S Coast Guard have begun their joint patrol in the Western Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing, combat transnational crimes, and enhance regional security, the U.S Indo-Pacific Command announced.

Commander Richard Skinnell, Mobile’s commanding officer, said the maritime security initiative, which began 20 March, “is imperative to ensure that the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention agreement is upheld within the Indo-Pacific region.”

The initiative, which is under the Secretary of Defence, allows the Navy and Coast Guard to operate from the Navy ships and work jointly with other branches of the military as well as allies and partners in the region.

“Collaborating with our partners throughout Oceania is essential in ensuring a free and open Blue Pacific,” said Cmdr. Jeff Bryant, chief of enforcement, U.S Coast Guard District Fourteen. It is a privilege and we are proud to support the Federated States of Micronesia through dedicated partnership in the effort to maintain maritime governance and preserve maritime sovereignty.”

The WCPFC international fisheries agreement prioritises the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

“The U.S Coast Guard is always ready and looking forward to executing the OMSI mission alongside our U.S.Navy partners,” Bryant said.

According to a statement from IndoPacom, the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Mobile (LCS 26), with an embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, supports maritime law with partner nations by enforcing the WCPFC agreement and by suppressing illicit activities.

“Independence-variant LCS is the platform of choice for this mission due to its fast and agile maneuvering capabilities, a large flight deck with manned and unmanned aviation assets and surface warfare mission set,” the command said. “An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations–from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the statement said.

SOURCE: PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES/PACNEWS