MANILA, Republic of the Philippines -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) arrived in Manila, Philippines May 15, the first visit by a U.S. cutter to the country in over 7 years.
The visit follows a bilateral exercise with the Philippine Coast Guard on May 14 where Bertholf and Philippine San Juan-class patrol vessel BRP Batangas and Boracay-class patrol vessel BRP Kalanggaman conducted search and rescue, maritime security and law enforcement capabilities training.
While in port, Bertholf crewmembers, several of whom are of Filipino heritage, will train and interact with members of the Philippine Coast Guard. The crew will also have opportunities to learn about Filipino culture and meet local citizens through community relations events and tours.
“The officers and crew of Bertholf are excited to visit Manila and work with our counterparts in the Philippine Coast Guard as we share experiences in port and at sea in search and rescue and maritime law enforcement,” said Capt. John J. Driscoll, Bertholf’s commanding officer. “On the personal side, I lived in the Philippines for several years as a young boy, but haven’t been back in 40 years. I’m excited to be reacquainted with the Philippine culture and people.”
Bertholf is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Alameda. The cutter is deployed to the Indo-Pacific under the operational control of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. The cutter and crew are engaging in professional exchanges and capacity-building with partner nations, patrolling and conducting operations as directed.
“The United States is a Pacific nation,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, who oversees the cutter. “We have deep and long-standing ties with our partners in the region, and more importantly, we share a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, governed by a rules-based international system that promotes peace, security, prosperity and sovereignty of all nations.”