North Pacific partnerships

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Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo with China Border Control Department Maj. Gen. Kuanyou Xu and Lt. Col. Liang Xu at the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum's most recent experts meeting. Photo courtesy of China Border Control Department.
Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo with China Border Control Department Maj. Gen. Kuanyou Xu and Lt. Col. Liang Xu at the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum’s most recent experts meeting. Photo courtesy of China Border Control Department.

Written by Pacific Area International Affairs.

The safety and economic security of maritime nations depends substantially upon the secure use of the world’s oceans. By securing our world’s oceans we maintain vibrant maritime commerce and the ability to counter threats from terrorists, transnational criminals and other dangerous elements.

Threats to our nation can originate from abroad, and in many cases use the wide open expanses of the ocean as shelter for illicit and illegal activity. The Pacific is one of these areas, stretching from the coast of Chile to the Arctic, and seaward for hundreds of miles. To combat these threats in the North Pacific, the U.S. Coast Guard partners with maritime nations with mutual interests in keeping our oceans secure with the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum.

Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki joins Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara and Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling commander, to plant one of five cherry trees during a ceremony, April 5. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the gift of more than 3,000 cherry trees given to the city of Washington, D.C., symbolizing the bond between the U.S. and Japan.. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Telfair H. Brown, Sr.
Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki joins Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara and Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling commander, to plant one of five cherry trees during a ceremony, April 5. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the gift of more than 3,000 cherry trees given to the city of Washington, D.C., symbolizing the bond between the U.S. and Japan.. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Telfair H. Brown, Sr.

The North Pacific Coast Guard Forum brings together six countries – the United States, Canada, The People’s Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Russia. With the forum, heads of coast guards embrace a common vision focused on practical, operational outcomes.

Numerous bi-lateral and multi-lateral operations and exercises have been conducted focusing on key issues related to maritime security including: piracy and armed robbery against ships, drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, information sharing and marine safety and environmental protection.

Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo, 11th Coast Guard District commander, attended the last experts meeting held in Xiamen, China. At the conclusion, he said: “Our shared interest in maritime safety and security in the Pacific brings these six nations together to accomplish what one singular nation could not on its own; the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum is tremendously effective in this respect.”

An example of a direct result of the relationships developed between the nations was the case of the Bangun Perkasa. In September 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard received a report from Japanese officials stating one of their aircraft had sighted two high seas driftnet vessels engaged in illegal driftnet fishing.

The crew of the Bangun Perkasa tend to fishing nets prior to a Coast Guard Cutter Munro law enforcement boarding. The Coast Guard actively participates with partner nations in the international cooperative efforts against large-scale high-seas drift net fishing. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The crew of the Bangun Perkasa tend to fishing nets prior to a Coast Guard Cutter Munro law enforcement boarding. The Coast Guard actively participates with partner nations in the international cooperative efforts against large-scale high-seas drift net fishing. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Photographs captured two Indonesian flagged vessels, the Bangun Perkasa and the Shun Li No. 6, actively fishing in a conservation area. In response, Coast Guard Cutter Munro was deployed and boarded the Bangun Perkasa. This was done so under the authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Boarding and Inspection scheme as Indonesia is a cooperating non-member and the Bangun Perkasa was in clear violation of conservation and management measures prohibiting large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing.

Munro’s crew also sighted Shun Li No. 6 actively engaged in high seas driftnet fishing, but was unable to intercept and conduct a boarding. However, the interception of the Bangun Perkasa, as well as the detection and deterrence of Shun Li No. 6, demonstrates the increasingly successful communication and interaction between the countries involved with the forum.

Ultimately, the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum is about economy of force and securing cooperation that helps promote collaboration with maritime operations in the vast expanse of the Pacific. Each of these maritime nations benefits from the secure use of the oceans and also bears a common responsibility for maintaining maritime security and countering threats in this region. Success cannot be achieved by any one country acting unilaterally, but requires a coalition of nations maintaining a strong, united international front.

4 comments on “North Pacific partnerships”

  1. How do I get in touch with the producers to suggest follow up series? We are the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and we represent a station complex of the United States Life-Saving Service with thousands of incredible stories that led to the formation of today’s Coast Guard in 1915.  The most highly awarded maritime rescue in the entire history of our nation took place right here at Chicamacomico on August 16, 1918 with the sinking of  the British tanker Mirlo, carrying 6,500 TONS of gasoline and was torpedoed by a German submarine, causing “the ocean to catch fire,” as one report of the times said.  After a six and a half hour ordeal, the six man crew from Chicamacomico rescued 42 of the crew of 51. That story alone could be a feature length Hollywood film!  Several seasons of that one series right there of the rest of thousands of other US Life-Saving Service rescues and other stories!

    The second series could be about today’s Coast Guard on the  Outer Banks guarding “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.”  We have two Motor Lifeboat Stations (Hatteras Inlet and Oregon Inlet) here on the Outer Banks which are two of only five “surf stations” on the entire East Coast.  Additionally,we have  Air Station Elizabeth City which is the second largest in the nation, only to Air Station Kodiak, and is the largest Coast Guard air base, again, on the entire East Coast. If you contact District Five in Portsmouth, VA, and get on their email press release list, you will see just how busy this area is.

    America needs to know these stories and to appreciate these services.

    1. Thanks for reading! You can email us a follow up request at socialmedia@uscg.mil and we can pass it on to someone who can help you out.

      Very Respectfully,
      Lt. Stephanie Young
      Coast Guard Public Affairs

    2. James, thank-you for your comment and your interest in helping to tell the Coast Guard’s story. I have shared your idea with the Coast Guard’s Motion Picture Office in Los Angeles.
      Regards,
      Lt. Connie Braesch
      Coast Guard public affairs

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