The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have kicked off a joint patrol in the Western Pacific on a mission to enforce fisheries laws, combat transnational crimes, and enhance security in the region.
Participating in the patrol is the U.S. Navy’s Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Mobile (LCS 26) with an embarked Coast Guard law enforcement team.
As a Secretary of Defense program, OMSI enhances maritime security and domain awareness by allowing Coast Guard law enforcement personnel to conduct operations from Navy ships. This collaboration ensures that the U.S. military fulfills its security commitments to its allies, partners, and friends.
OMSI plays a critical role in upholding the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention (WCPFC) agreement in the Indo-Pacific region, according to Cmdr. Richard Skinnell, the commanding officer of USS Mobile. “This initiative allows us the opportunity to work jointly with other branches of the military as well as our allies and partners,” he said.
The WCPFC agreement focuses on the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.
Cmdr. Jeff Bryant, chief of enforcement for U.S. Coast Guard District Fourteen, emphasized the importance of collaborating with Oceania partners for a “free and open Blue Pacific,” and expressed pride in supporting the Federated States of Micronesia in maintaining maritime governance and preserving sovereignty.
“The U.S. Coast Guard is always ready and looking forward to executing the OMSI mission alongside our U.S. Navy partners,” said Bryant.
The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Mobile (LCS 26), with an embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, will enforce the WCPFC agreement and suppress illicit activities alongside partner nations.
The mission is conducted under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing, combat transnational crimes, and enhance regional security.