USCGC Oliver Henry Operation Blue Pacific Efforts
Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir
September 25, 2022
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter
USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) arrived at homeport in Guam on
September 19, 2022 following a patrol across Oceania.
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) arrives to Apra Harbor Sept. 18, 2022, following a 43-day patrol across Oceania. The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in Oceania as part of Operation Blue Pacific, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards. Op Blue Pacific is an overarching multi-mission U.S. Coast Guard endeavor promoting security, safety, sovereignty, and economic prosperity in Oceania while strengthening relationships with our regional partners. (U.S. Coast Guard photo
by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Ray Blas)
"The crew of Oliver Henry just completed a
43-day historic patrol across Oceania, where we patrolled and
visited ports in the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New
Guinea, and Australia. We also patrolled the exclusive economic
zones of those countries and Solomon Islands during our time," said
Lt. Freddy Hofschneider, commanding officer of Oliver Henry. "Our
trip was significant in that we validated the capability of the fast
response cutters homeported here in Apra Harbor, Guam, showing what
we can do to promote regional stability in terms of fisheries and
continue to build a better relationship with our regional partners.
The crew conducted training, fisheries observations,
community and key leader engagements, and a multilateral sail. They
covered more than 8,000 nautical miles from Guam to Cairns,
Queensland, Australia, and returned with several stops in Papua New
Guinea and one in the Federated States of Micronesia.
"The fact that we can take these 154-foot ships
with a crew of 25 and a lieutenant commanding officer and push them
so far over the horizon, even as far as Australia -- which is what
Oliver Henry just did -- is an incredible capability for the
region," said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander U.S. Coast Guard Forces
Micronesia/Sector Guam. "I'm proud of the work the Oliver Henry did,
the resiliency of the crew deployed for 43 days, and they pulled off
a variety of firsts – like first-time port calls in a couple of
places like Papua New Guinea and Australia. Even more than that, I
am proud of the resilience of the families. Not just the families of
Oliver Henry but all the families here to support them and our local
community here in Guam."
In Papua New Guinea, the crew spent
time on Manus Island and Port Moresby. They visited HMPNGS Tarangau
School, spent time in the community, and engaged with Papua New
Guinea Defence Force and local officials.
In Cairns, they
conducted engagements with Australian Defence and Home Affairs
partners, the mayor of Cairns, and Cairns Regional Council
representatives. They also took time to engage with the
International Marine College. Upon departure, they participated in a
multilateral formation sail with crews from Australia and Fiji as
the other ships departed for Exercise Kakadu off Darwin.
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) and a guest from the Royal Australian Navy render honors to partners aboard the RFNS Savenaca (401) a Guardian-class patrol boat from Fiji in Cairns, Australia, September 6, 2022. Upon departure, they participated in a multilateral formation sail with crews from Australia and Fiji as the other ships departed for Exercise Kakadu off Darwin. (U.S. Coast Guard photo Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Ray Blas)
During their stop in Pohnpei, Oliver Henry's crew hosted the U.S.
Embassy team and an FSM National Oceanic Resource Management
Authority – Fisheries Compliance Division representative to cover
patrol highlights and future opportunities. The Oliver Henry
commanding officer visited the FSM National Police Maritime Wing
headquarters to discuss multilateral efforts. Finally, members of
the cutter's engineering team conducted a subject matter expert
exchange with the crew of FSS Palikir, the last active Pacific-class
patrol boat, on shipboard repairs and preventative maintenance.
While not the most extended transit for these cutters, this
patrol does emphasize the Service's capability and willingness to
project into the far reaches of Oceania. The U.S. Coast Guard
maintains strong partnerships with the maritime forces in the region
through extensive training and subject matter expert exchanges. The
U.S. Coast Guard conducts routine deployments in Oceania as part of
Operation Blue Pacific, working alongside Allies, building maritime
domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation
navies and coast guards. Op Blue Pacific seeks to strengthen
partnerships and execute a mission to support maritime governance
and the rule of law in the region.
This patrol was possible
thanks to vital shoreside support for logistics and an augmented
crew. Guam's Maintenance Assistance Team/Asset Material Manager
leveraged current personnel to fill billet gaps. Working with U.S.
Coast Guard Base Honolulu ensured the short notice delivery of
$100,000 in mission-critical parts to the ship while deployed. The
Oliver Henry, which has no intrinsic medical personnel, also brought
several folks aboard, including a corpsman from the U.S. Navy and a
linguist from the U.S. Marine Corps.
"We had HS2 Edge from
HSWL Juneau and HM3 Hardnett from Naval Hospital Guam, who provided
a higher level of care on board as we transited over 8,000 nautical
miles down to Australia and back. We also brought Lance Cpl. Mabrie
from Hawaii, our Korean linguist aboard, doing sighting reports
inside of other countries' EEZs and high seas pockets," said Lt. j.g.
Marissa Marsh, executive officer on Oliver Henry. "We also brought
MK2 Blas and YN2 Blas from Guam, who provided extra help for
maintenance, photography, and administration while we were underway.
It felt like they'd been here since day one, and the crew enjoyed
the extra help; they had a good time sailing with us."
Oliver Henry is the 40th Sentinel-class fast response cutter. The
ship was commissioned along with its sister ships, Myrtle Hazard
(WPC 1139) and Frederick Hatch (1143), in Guam in July 2021. These
cutters are a vital part of the U.S. Coast Guard's enduring regional
presence serving the people of the Pacific by conducting 10 of the
Service's 11 statutory missions with a focus on search and rescue,
defense readiness, living marine resources protection, and ensuring
commerce through marine safety and ports, waterways, and coastal
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