Us Department Of State News

28 May 2020

US Maritime Sanctions Advisory: Navigating Choppy Waters

A North Korean-flagged tanker conducts a ship-to-ship transfer with a vessel of unknown nationality in November 2019. (File photo: Japanese Ministry of Defense)

In May 2020, the US Department of State, US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and US Coast Guard issued a joint Sanctions Advisory for the Maritime Industry. The advisory builds on and expands several prior sanctions advisories for the maritime community issued in 2018-19.The advisory is intended as a guidepost to help participants in the maritime sector achieve the desired level of compliance. Most of the guidance is couched in the language of suggestion (e.g., parties “may wish to consider…”), rather than as a mandate.

08 May 2020

Coast Guard Academy Cadet Receives Fulbright Award

Owen Gibson (Photo: USCG)

First Class Cadet Owen Gibson, a Civil Engineering major from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, has received a Fulbright Award to pursue a two-year Master of Science degree in Water Resource Engineering and Management at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.Gibson’s Fulbright research project will focus on climate change and soil erosion models. The goal of his research is to develop a model for assessing coastal soil erosion rates. The model will address the uncertainty of climate change using probability analysis and will be tested throughout coastal regions in Northern Germany.

18 Mar 2020

USCG Advises on Minimizing Novel Coronavirus at Sea

© Inna/AdobeStock

The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy has published an update March 16, 2020 to MSIB: Novel Coronavirus – Update (Change 2)An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect mariners and maritime commerce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfyG) and Cruise Ship Travel (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfVP).Illness…

29 Jan 2020

Hong Kong Halts Ferry Service to China on Virus Fears

© joyt / Adobe Stock

Hong Kong has suspended cross-border ferry service to and from mainland China as it seeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.All cross-boundary ferry services to and from the China Ferry Terminal and the Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal have been suspended, Hong Kong's government announced on Wednesday,The government said other modes of transport, including rail and airline service, have also been suspended or restricted as part of its plans to reduce the flow of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong.As of Wednesday morning…

30 Jan 2019

INSIGHTS: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.

Admiral Karl L. Schultz assumed the duties as the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on June 1, 2018. He previously served from August 2016 to May 2018 as Commander, Atlantic Area where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions spanning five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. Previous operational assignments include Sector Commander in Miami, Florida, as well as command tours aboard Cutters VENTUROUS, ACACIA and FARALLON. His senior staff assignments include Chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; Congressional Liaison to the U.S.

10 Aug 2018

Gulf of Guinea Plans to Enhance Maritime Security

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) is supporting countries from the Gulf of Guinea region in their plans to enhance maritime security.Participants from 10 countries - Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Togo, as well as international partners such as INTERPOL and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office - are taking part in a workshop in Monterey, USA (6-10 August) on developing and refining their work plans. This includes…

12 Jul 2018

MarAd: Buzby in Hanoi for Meetings

Photo: Maritime Administration

On July 11-12, 2018, Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby met with ‎the Vietnam Maritime Administration\\'s (VINAMARINE) Administrator Dr. Nguyen Xuan Sang and Deputy Administrator Dr. Bui Thien Thu in Hanoi, Vietnam. This meeting, under the implementation of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Agreement, included discussions on the topics of maritime policy, vessels safety and security, port infrastructure development, maritime workforce and mariner training. On July 12th, Administrator Buzby visited the ports of Hai Phong and Lach Huyen. The US Coast Guard and US Department of State also participated.

23 Apr 2018

USCG Cutter Returns with $200 Mln Worth of Cocaine


Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn)

The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) returned home Friday to Astoria after a 60-day counternarcotic patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.While patrolling international waters off the coast of Mexico and Central America, Steadfast’s law enforcement boarding teams intercepted and stopped eight separate vessels suspected of smuggling illicit drugs. The eight boardings resulted in the discovery and seizure of approximately 13,123 pounds of cocaine worth…

21 Apr 2018

USCG Cutter Seizes $200m in Cocaine

Family members of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast's crew file aboard the cutter after it returned to homeport at the 17th Street Pier in Astoria, Ore., April 20, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) returned home Friday to Astoria after a 60-day counternarcotic patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. While patrolling international waters off the coast of Mexico and Central America, Steadfast’s law enforcement boarding teams intercepted and stopped eight separate vessels suspected of smuggling illicit drugs. The eight boardings resulted in the discovery and seizure of approximately 13,123 pounds of cocaine worth more than $200 million wholesale.

09 Apr 2018

Trump Administration Grants License for Taiwan Submarine Project

© cil86 / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration has approved the marketing license required for American manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that would allow for building domestic submarines, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported on Saturday.The news agency said Taiwan Ministry of National Defense Chen Chung-chi confirmed that the U.S. Department of State had agreed to grant the license needed to sell the technology to Taiwan that it would need to build its own submarine.The U.S. State Department…

01 Mar 2018

Exxon Quits Some Rosneft Joint Ventures Citing Sanctions

Exxon's exit from projects will not affect the Sakhalin project off the eastern coast of Russia, Exxon and Rosneft spokesmen said. (Photo: Rosneft)

Exxon Mobil Corp will exit some joint ventures with Russia's Rosneft, citing Western sanctions first imposed in 2014, while the Russian company said the pullout will result in serious losses for its U.S. partner. The move is an about-face for Exxon, which had opposed the sanctions over Russia's invasion of Crimea and argued they unfairly penalized U.S. companies while allowing foreign energy rivals to operate in the country, the world's largest oil producer. Yet the sanctions…

23 Oct 2017

Economics & Utility Redefine Today’s Workboat Output

(Photo: Silverships)

GoM shipyards are meeting the demand for right-sized, multi-mission boats. In the last decade, Gulf Coast shipyards have watched demand for multi-mission vessels grow from foreign governments and U.S. authorities. In particular, local counties and municipalities – pinched by shrinking budgets and expanding mission sets – began the march to leverage a single hull for more than one task. And, since these boats can serve military or civilian needs, the need for boatbuilders to quickly adapt a standard hull form to a particular requirement became a highly desired skill set.

25 Sep 2017

Man Medevaced from Chinese Research Vessel near Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard photo

A man with a broken arm was medevaced from the Chinese research vessel Xue Long, 15 nautical miles from Nome, Alaska, Saturday morning. A smallboat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley embarked the man and transferred him to the Alex Haley for further transfer to Nome. Coast Guard District 17 command center watchstanders received a relay notification from a Coast Guard liaison to China who reported a Chinese national aboard the Xue Long suffered a broken arm while conducting research in the Arctic Ocean.

09 Jan 2017

Eastern Hires Adm. Papp as President Washington Ops

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., U.S. Coast Guard (Retired) Photo Eastern Shipbuilding

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. has appointed Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., U. S. Coast Guard (Retired), as President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., Washington Operations. Admiral Papp served as an Officer in the Coast Guard for nearly 40 years, completing his career as the 24th Commandant of the U. S. Coast Guard from 2010 to 2014. The Coast Guard is the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was a career cutterman, serving in six cutters, commanding four of them, including the Coast Guard’s square rigged sailing ship, USCG Barque EAGLE.

11 Mar 2016

Virtual Exercise Addresses Unsafe Migration by Sea

Photo: USMRC

Thousands of migrants seeking refuge have lost their lives attempting to make their way across the Mediterranean Sea in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats. The United Nations estimates that as many as 850,000 refugees may attempt to make the trip between 2015 and 2016. Although most of the rescues have been handled by Coast Guard agencies in the region, merchant vessels often are being brought in to assist. Between 2014 and 2015, an estimated 1,200-plus merchant vessels were diverted to assist in the rescue of thousands of migrants making a desperate bid to reach Europe.

03 Sep 2015

Willard to Supply Patrol Boats for the Philippines

Image: Willard Marine

The U.S. Department of State awarded a contract to boatbuilder Willard Marine, Inc., to provide the Philippine National Police Maritime Group with patrol vessels equipped to conduct search and rescue operations along Philippine maritime borders. This contract marks the third time Willard Marine has been chosen to provide military vessels to the Philippines, the builder noted, adding it has also recently developed boats for international military use by the Navy of Ukraine and the Nepalese Army.

08 May 2015

San Diego Harbor Police Boosts International Law Enforcement

Photo: Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego's Harbor Police Department will assist the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed April 10, 2015. The MOU was signed by Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of INL; and Harbor Police Chief Mark Stainbrook as part of the Harbor Police’s efforts to support foreign port security and fight international crime. It establishes a framework for Harbor Police to train…

18 Feb 2014

US Will Add a State Representative for the Arctic

John Kerry

In a press release announcing a new U.S. Secretary Kerry announced that the State Department will add a Special Representative for the Arctic Region, a high-level official of stature who will play a critical role in advancing American interests in the Arctic Region, particularly as it prepares efforts for the United States to Chair the Arctic Council in 2015. “President Obama and I are committed to elevating our attention and effort to keep up with the opportunities and consequences…

03 Jan 2014

U.S. Export Reform: New Year, New Rules

Early in the coming year, the U.S. export control regime governing the shipbuilding supply chain will undergo a sea change with the implementation of export reform in the naval and marine categories of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and the Commerce Control List (CCL). Reforms affecting the aerospace industry(1)  were published April 16, 2013(2)  and took effect October 15 of this year, and the final rules published on July 8, 2013 for the naval and marine categories will take effect on January 6, 2014. As previously reported,(3)  one of the goals of the export reform initiative is to protect the nation’s “crown jewels” with higher export control walls while removing restrictions on less important items and technologies in order to promote, among other things, interoperability of U.S.

16 Dec 2013

Kerry Announces U.S. Assistance for Maritime Capacity in SE Asia

Secretary of State John Kerry (Source: U.S. Department of State).

On December 16, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an initial commitment of $32.5 million in new regional and bilateral assistance to advance maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia. Including this new funding, our planned region-wide funding support for maritime capacity building exceeds $156 million for the next two years. As an example of our commitment to strengthen maritime capacities in Southeast Asia, the United States intends to provide up to $18 million in new assistance to Vietnam to enhance the capacity of coastal patrol units to deploy rapidly for search and rescue…

28 Jun 2013

U.S. Diplomat Named IEA Deputy Executive Director

Kenneth J. Fairfax (Photo: U.S. Consulate General)

Kenneth J. Fairfax, a career diplomat in the U.S. State Department currently serving as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, has been designated for the post of Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. Mr. Fairfax will take up his full duties at the end of September 2013. He will succeed Richard H. Jones, another former U.S. career diplomat who has served as Deputy Executive Director since October 1, 2008. In a career that spanned over 25 years at the U.S. Department of State, Mr.

17 Jun 2013

Annual Economic Sanctions Update

Iran Continues to Dominate U.S. Since last year’s update appeared in the May 2012 issue of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, Iran has continued to dominate U.S. sanctions headlines. Significant actions by both the U.S. Congress and Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over the past year have increased sanctions against Iran substantially, and further initiatives are pending. Our 2013 update concentrates on these key developments, with particular focus on Iran sanctions of interest to the maritime community.

09 May 2013

Navigating the Future of Private Maritime Security

William H. Watson, President and COO, AdvanFort

Maritime piracy is both ageless as a threat as well as ductile in its dramatically changing nature both in and around the Indian Ocean and, increasingly, in other parts of the world. Somali piracy erupted in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden and commercial vessels transiting the area frequently fell prey to the seagoing criminals who captured numerous vessels and held them and their crews for ransom to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Numerous maritime nations…

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