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NEWS | Oct. 30, 2023

USCGC Oliver Henry concludes 28-day patrol, strengthening sovereignty and resource security in Blue Pacific

By Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

The USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew returned to homeport on Oct. 15 after a 28-day patrol that reinforced the U.S. commitment to sovereignty and resource security in the Federated States of Micronesia Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and beyond.

The mission, which was part of Operation Rematau and the broader U.S. Coast Guard's Operation Blue Pacific, fortifies the U.S. reputation as a reliable, trusted partner in the region.

Sovereignty and resource security are fundamental components of national and regional stability. Access to vital goods, particularly in remote island nations, hinges on the maritime domains' secure and lawful use. During the patrol, the Oliver Henry crew dedicated 11 days in the FSM's EEZ and two days on the high seas, logging 422 total operational hours and sailing 4,986 nautical miles. The team's presence and surveillance capabilities bolstered maritime domain awareness and effectively upheld regional sovereignty.

"This mission represents another pivotal chapter in the ongoing success story of Operation Rematau and the U.S. Coast Guard's contribution to a free and open Blue Pacific. We continue to prove that our Service is not just a force for good but a dependable and committed partner in this strategic region's long-term security and prosperity," said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam, reflecting on the broader objectives.

The crew conducted three observation reports on Chinese-Taipei, Korean, and Japanese-flagged fishing vessels within the FSM EEZ and on the high seas, thus contributing to regional stability and resource protection.

Additionally, the crew delivered new school supplies to communities on two FSM atolls and facilitated the return of the Nukuoro Elementary School principal. The mission ensured the delivery of over 6,000 pounds of supplies to Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap. The supplies include goods from UNICEF like 39 Schools-in-a-Box, 31 Early Childhood Development, and two Recreation Kits so children can play and learn even during emergencies.

Further enhancing partnerships, the crew hosted the U.S. Ambassador to FSM, Jennifer Johnson and newly arrived Foreign Service Officer Amy Gradin in Phonpei. They toured the ship and discussed the invaluable role the U.S. Coast Guard plays in search and rescue and deterrence of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in FSM territorial waters and in the region. The Oliver Henry crew also took embassy personnel underway for area familiarization and atoll surveys.

A unique part of these patrols is the human connection. Lt. Ray Cerrato, the commanding officer of Oliver Henry, emphasized this, stating, "The relationships we've built and the lives we've touched will last a lifetime. From delivering school supplies to sharing best practices with agency partners, these interactions go beyond mere duty; they embody the human spirit of cooperation and mutual respect."

About U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam serves as a linchpin for U.S. maritime interests in the region, fostering enduring partnerships with regional allies. The 300-strong team emphasizes maritime safety, security, and stewardship, reinforcing the U.S. Coast Guard's long-standing reputation as a trusted partner in Blue Pacific.

About USCGC Oliver Henry

USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) is the 40th 154-foot Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter named for Oliver T. Henry, Jr., an enlisted African American Coast Guard member first to break the color barrier of a then-segregated Service. Designed for many missions, including search and rescue, national defense, and maritime law enforcement, the Oliver Henry plays a significant role in safeguarding national interests and preserving good maritime governance.