NEWS | March 27, 2019

VP-47 Keeps Watch during Forum Fisheries Agency’s Operation Rai Balang in Pacific Islands

By MC1 Kevin A. Flinn Patrol Squadron 47

HONIARA, Solomon Islands - The “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 flew multiple missions during Operation Rai Balang, a Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)-led multilateral monitoring control and surveillance operation with eight FFA members; Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, March 21-28.

VP-47 surveillance missions during Operation Rai Balang supported FFA’s mission to detect, deter, report and/or apprehend potential illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing activity and to enhance Pacific Island countries' involvement and participation in maritime fisheries surveillance and response operations. These IUU activities occur in a vast area spanning approximately 18 million square kilometers of open ocean.

“Working with FFA partners during Operation Rai Balang improves maritime domain awareness and helps address shared maritime security priorities,” said Lt. Cmdr. Karl Schroeder, Commander, Task Group 72.2 liaison naval officer.

All 17 island nations that make up the FFA are committed to ensuring fishing conservation throughout their national waters, exclusive economic zones and beyond.

The "Golden Swordsmen" are currently deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance and theater outreach operations within U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F) area of operations in support of Commander, Task Force 72, C7F, and U.S. Pacific Command objectives throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

C7F conducts forward deployed naval operations that provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest overseas fleet, C7F continues to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.