MANILA, Philippines -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and crew arrived in Manila on Thursday to conduct professional exchanges and joint operations with members of the Philippine and Japan Coast Guards during Stratton’s months-long Indo-Pacific deployment.
Members from the three Coast Guards will engage in the first ever group of trilateral activities at sea and in port during a multi-day visit building upon enduring partnerships between the nations.
“We’re eager to join the Philippine and Japan Coast Guards and participate in meaningful engagements with our allies and partners both in port and at sea,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Brian Krautler, Stratton’s commanding officer. “This first trilateral engagement between the Coast Guards of these nations will provide invaluable opportunities to strengthen global maritime governance though professional exchanges and combined operations. Together we’ll demonstrate professional, rules-based standards of maritime operations with our steadfast partners to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Operating under the tactical control of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Stratton’s crew plans to engage in professional and subject matter expert exchanges with partners and allies throughout the region.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s steadfast partnerships and presence in the Indo-Pacific have increased in recent years. Stratton’s current Indo-Pacific patrol is the cutter’s second patrol in the region and one of seven national security cutter deployments to the Indo-Pacific since 2019.
The Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) conducted an at-sea search-and-rescue exercise with the Philippine Coast Guard following a port call to Manila in 2022. Midgett’s crew conducted professional engagements and subject matter expert exchanges between the two services during the multi-day port visit.
The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) conducted combined operations and search-and-rescue exercises with the Japan Coast Guard in Kagoshima, Japan during their Western Pacific patrol in February in support of Operation Solid Alliance for Peace and Prosperity with Humanity and Integrity on the Rule of law-based Engagement (SAPPHIRE). SAPPHIRE is a joint agreement between the U.S. and Japan Coast Guards signed in 2022 for enhancing cooperation between the two sea services.
The Coast Guard provides expertise in all aspects of maritime governance, within the mission sets of: search and rescue; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; maritime environmental response; maritime security; maritime domain awareness; maritime aviation operations; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
As both a federal law enforcement agency and a branch of the armed forces, the Coast Guard is uniquely positioned to conduct security cooperation operations in support of combatant commanders. The service routinely provides forces in joint military operations worldwide, including the deployment of cutters, boats, aircraft and deployable specialized forces.
Commissioned in 2012, Stratton is one of four Coast Guard legend-class national security cutters homeported in Alameda, California. National security cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide, and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 170.
National security cutters feature advanced command and control capabilities, aviation support facilities, stern cutter boat launch and increased endurance for long-range patrols to disrupt threats to national security further offshore.
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area is responsible for U. S. Coast Guard operations spanning across six of the seven continents, 71 countries and more than 74 million square miles of ocean. It reaches from the shores of the West Coast of the United States to the Indo-Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Arctic and Antarctic. Pacific Area strives to integrate capabilities with partners to ensure collaboration and unity of effort throughout the Pacific.