Navy, Coast Guard Join Forces in Persian Gulf

Friday, June 02, 2006
Quick and maneuverable, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard patrol boats have become an integral part of maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf. As part of Commander, Task Group (CTG) 158.1, the patrol boats are conducting MSO, which help set the conditions for security and stability in the North Persian Gulf and protect Iraq's sea-based infrastructure to help provide the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. U.S. Navy 170-foot Cyclone-class Coastal Patrol (PC) ships and Coast Guard 110-foot Island-class patrol boats (PB) can reach their destinations faster and navigate in and out of shallower waters than larger Navy ships.

PCs typically remain forward deployed for long periods of time in the Persian Gulf, while their crews are swapped out every six months. The crew swap initiative increases the Navy's forward presence by providing an extra 90 days of on-station time per vessel - time the patrol boats use to maximize protection of the Iraqi oil terminals in the Northern Persian Gulf. “All of us [PCs] are assigned sectors to help patrol the oil platforms,” explained Lt. Robert Halfhill, commanding officer of PC Crew Juliet, the crew currently embarked on USS Whirlwind (PC 11). “The majority of our work is the oil platform patrols.” With a smaller boat, however, comes a smaller crew. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Curtis Woodward said this frequently equates to extra responsibility and increased rating flexibility for the Sailors assigned to PCs in the North Persian Gulf.

“On board a PC, you're what's considered a hybrid Sailor,” said Woodward. “You do jobs out of your rate all the time.” “I'm performing quartermaster duties, but I'm also the command's leading coxswain, which would normally be a boatswain's mate's duty,” added Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wheeler. “Being in this command gives us the opportunity to get cross-trained in areas we wouldn't normally be trained in. It's been a very interesting experience for me, and I feel very fortunate.” Among the even smaller crews of the Coast Guard PBs, the years of maritime boarding experience is a vital asset in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. “Pretty much all of us in the States are boarding team members and boarding officers,” said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class William Kelly, a Coast Guardsman attached to U.S. Coast Guard white patrol boat Maui (WPB 1304). “We're trained to do these types of operations back in the States, so it carries over to our mission here.” Like Whirlwind, Maui routinely patrols the sectors associated with the Al Basra and Khawr Al Amaya oil terminals, Iraq's most valuable economic assets. But they also visit fishing dhows in the area in an effort to build relationships between the local fishermen and coalition forces.

“We do interaction patrols (IPAT), where we [visit] fishing dhows,” said Kelly. “We want them to know that we're in the area, and if they need help, they can give us a call.” The crews of Whirlwind and Maui have regular interactions with the coalition forces that make up CTG 158.1, exchanging information and utilizing each other's rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIB) to transport personnel and cargo from PCs to ships, or vice versa. They have also made significant strides with Iraqi Navy patrol craft operating in the Persian Gulf. “The Iraqis are part [of the coalition efforts], so it's important that we work together,” Halfhill explained. To this end, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard frequently train with the Iraqi navy, accompanying them on boardings, IPATs and helping them to improve their skills and maintain oil platform security. Source: NavNews By Journalist 2nd Class Cassandra Thompson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Mount Whitney Departs Batumi, Georgia

The U.S. 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) departed Batumi, Georgia, Oct. 18 after completing a successful port visit. While in Batumi,

USS Constitution Not to Set Sail Until 2018

The crew of USS Constitution embarked on their final Boston Harbor underway demonstration aboard Old Ironsides this year, Oct. 17. Constitution set out into

US Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Detroit

The Navy will christen littoral combat ship (LCS) Detroit, on Oct. 18 during a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus,

Finance

Nordic American Offshore Declares Dividend

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. today announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.45 per common share for the third quarter 2014. This is the same as for the second quarter 2014.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

Maduro Says Venezuela's 2015 Budget to Put Oil at $60

Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.6296 sec (2 req/sec)