HONOLULU — The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL-756) concluded a successful two-week expeditionary patrol in support of counter-illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries enforcement, furthering the United States’ commitment to regional security and partnerships, the Coast Guard 14th District said in a Feb. 24 release.
As part of Operation Blue Pacific, the crew of the Kimball deployed in support of national security goals of stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific. The crew of the Kimball remains prepared to use training in targeted and intelligence-driven enforcement actions as well as counter predatory irresponsible maritime behavior.
While patrolling approximately 3,600 miles in the Philippine Sea, the Kimball’s law enforcement team conducted its first at-sea boarding and expanded on the multilateral fisheries enforcement cooperation such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
The WCPFC is an international body made up of 43 nations and international organizations. Members agree to allow the 13 countries in the pact to board and record any potential violations on their nationally flagged vessels. The findings go to the WCPFC, which notifies the vessel’s flag state of the suspected infraction for further investigation.
“Our presence in the area shows our partners the Coast Guard’s enduring efforts to provide search and rescue response and oversight of important economic resources,” said Lt. Cmdr. Drew Cavanagh, operations officer for the Kimball. “The ongoing presence of a Coast Guard cutter in this part of the Pacific to assist in determining compliance with conservation management measures established by the WCPFC demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the region and our partners.”
The Coast Guard combats illegal fishing and other maritime threats across the Pacific to protect the United States and Pacific Island Countries resource security and sovereignty. Combating illegal fishing is part of promoting maritime governance and a rules-based international order that is essential to a free and open Oceania.
While on patrol, the Kimball was briefly diverted to assist in a search and rescue case in the Federated States of Micronesia, where they used a small unmanned aircraft system, or SUAS. The use of SUAS expands maritime domain awareness and provides persistent airborne surveillance on maritime hazards, threats, and rescue operations.
“Training is also an important component of underway time and affects our readiness,” said Lt.j.g. Joseph Fox, assistant combat systems officer for the Kimball. “The team conducted law enforcement training as well as disabled vessel towing training for our newest crewmembers.”
The Kimball is one of the newest national security cutters to be homeported in Honolulu. These technologically advanced ships are 418 feet long, 54 feet wide and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can accommodate a crew of up to 150.
Advanced command-and-control capabilities and an unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather enable these ships to confront national security threats, strengthen maritime governance, support economic prosperity, and promote individual sovereignty.