Cutter Bertholf Returns From 164-Day Western Pacific Deployment

A family waits for the arrival of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf on July 2. The crew of the Bertholf left Jan. 20 for a patrol in the western Pacific. U.S. Coast Guard/Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) returned July 2 to their homeport of Alameda following a 164-day deployment to the western Pacific, the Coast Guard Pacific Area said in a release.

The crew steamed nearly 32,000 nautical miles since they departed Alameda Jan. 20 amid the partial government shutdown.

Under the tactical control of commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, the crew patrolled and conducted operations as directed, including enforcing United Nations Security Council resolution sanctions against North Korea by monitoring and gathering intelligence on vessels conducting ship-to-ship transfers in the East China, South China and Yellow Seas.

Bertholf’s crew made history March 24-25 as the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to transit the Taiwan Strait.

Bertholf crew member Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Shotwell hugs his son, Cooper, and his daughter, Carolyn, on July 2 after his return to Coast Coast Guard Base Alameda, California. U.S. Coast Guard/Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi

Bertholf’s crew engaged in professional exchanges, community relations events and capacity-building exercises with navies and coast guards in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, including at-sea joint search-and-rescue and interdiction exercises.

Bertholf also made a multiday port call to Hong Kong, marking the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to visit the city in 17 years.

The Coast Guard has an ongoing role in the Indo-Pacific, going back more than 150 years. The service’s ongoing deployment of resources directly supports U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is proud to operate with our Pacific counterparts, and together we are dedicated to enhancing our capabilities and strengthening maritime governance and security while promoting individual sovereignty,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Area.

Commissioned in 2008, Bertholf is the first of the Coast Guard’s Legend-class national security cutters and the first NSC to deploy to the western Pacific. Alameda-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton departed June 5 for a months-long deployment in the same region.

“The U.S. Coast Guard’s unique authorities, capabilities, and missions make us the maritime safety and security partner of choice for sea-going countries around the world,” Fagan said. “Our increased presence throughout the Indo-Pacific will enhance regional stability and improve maritime governance and security.”