The Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell and USS Firebolt, with embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 406, escorted the first commercially transported humanitarian aid shipment into the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr on friday.
The Motor Vessel Manar, owned by Manar Marine Services of the United Arab Emirates, delivered almost 700 tons of humanitarian aid including food, water, first aid and transport vehicles. This aid shipment was supplied and coordinated by the UAE Red Crescent Society.
This is the fourth aid shipment to arrive in Umm Qasr since the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom
. The first three shipments were transported on British and Spanish nava
l vessels. Coalition warships including the Coast Guard's 110-ft Patrol Boats WRANGELL, ADAK and AQUIDNECK and the Navy's 170-ft Patrol Craft CHINOOK and FIREBOLT, with Coast Guard LEDETs 205 and 406, have escorted each shipment to ensure its safe arrival.
Approximately 650 Coast Guard men and women are participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Persian Gulf aboard four patrol boats, a high-endurance cutter, a buoy tender, two law enforcement detachments, two port security units and a harbor defense command unit.
Specific operations being conducted by Coast Guard forces include maritime interdiction operations, humanitarian aid shipment escorts, port and coastal security and oil terminal security.