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My Coast Guard
Commentary | June 24, 2021

Frontline Focus: U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia holds change of command, and more

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia holds change of command. On June 16, Capt. Benjamin D. Berg relieved Capt. Willie Carmichael as commander of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) aboard Naval Support Activity Manama, Bahrain. During his 13-month tenure as the senior U.S. Coast Guard representative in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Carmichael led PATFORSWA to support maritime security operations in the north, central, and south Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. “I cannot thank you enough for supporting one another, the mission, and adding to the legacy of PATFORSWA,” said Carmichael. “It has been an honor to serve as your commodore.” PATFORSWA comprises six patrol vessels, shoreside mission support personnel, and the Maritime Engagement Team. They play a crucial role in maritime security, maritime infrastructure protection, and theater security cooperation in the region. The unit also supports other U.S. Coast Guard deployable specialized forces operating throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Learn more

Coast Guard medevacs injured mariner in Absecon Inlet, New Jersey. On June 17, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center received a transmission on VHF-FM channel 16 from a mariner stating that he ran aground, hit his head and was potentially taking on water. A rescue crew from Station Atlantic City responded and once on scene, brought the mariner aboard to transit him back to the station where emergency medical technicians transported him to Atlantic Care Hospital. "We are grateful that this mariner had communications equipment on board in order to reach out for help," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Perkins, the coxswain aboard the rescue boat from Station Atlantic City. "You never know when you may need to reach out for assistance, and having a VHF radio on board could end up saving your life." Learn more

Fast Response Cutter conducts international patrol to increase maritime security in the Pacific. The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) returned home to Santa Rita, Guam following a successful 37-day, expeditionary patrol. It supported Operation Blue Pacific and Operation 365 to prevent, detect, and suppress illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Oceania and strengthen bonds with partners throughout Micronesia. During the patrol, the crew queried 21 foreign fishing vessels in partner Exclusive Economic Zones and boarded two vessels on the high seas generating vital information reports. “The high-seas boarding and inspections conducted by our crew ensure compliance with agreed-upon rules and norms to minimize the impacts of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing activities in our region,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Holstead, the Coast Guard 14th District’s living marine resource officer. “These maritime security operations are to support our Pacific Island countries and territories' ability to have an effective presence in and around their exclusive economic zones.” Learn more

Coast Guard partners with Alaska Army National Guard, Civil Air Patrol for Marine Safety Task Force Bristol Bay deployment. On June 14, Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force (MSTF) members partnered with Alaska Army National Guard and Civil Air Patrol flight crews this week in Anchorage, Alaska for a Bristol Bay marine safety deployment. This was done in support of the region’s 2021 commercial salmon fishing season. “This is a team effort,” said Cmdr. Jereme Altendorf, an emergency management specialist at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage whose duties focus on Arctic issues. “We’re fortunate to be teaming up with the Alaska Army National Guard Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 641st Aviation Regiment for the very first time, and the Civil Air Patrol for the third year in a row. We're relying on both of these tremendous partnerships for transportation around western Alaska and the Arctic. They are an invaluable part of this operation.” Learn more.