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NEWS | Feb. 5, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard strengthens ties with the Marshall Islands Sea Patrol, Australian Pacific Maritime Security Program in Majuro

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

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam personnel conducted a series of engagements in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), from Jan. 24-29, 2024.

This visit marks a continuation of efforts to enhance the U.S. Coast Guard's positive relationship with the Marshall Islands, particularly its maritime law enforcement entity, the RMI Sea Patrol.

This trip highlights the enduring partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard, its Pacific Island partners under the Compact of Free Association (COFA), and the resident U.S. State Department team.

In Majuro, Cmdr. Ryan Crose, response department head, and Lt. Cmdr. Christine Igisomar, COFA maritime advisor, officially presented Marshall Islands Police Commissioner George Lanwi and Lt. Cmdr. Lachlan Sommerville, the Royal Australian Navy's Maritime Security Advisor to the RMI Sea Patrol, with invitations for the inaugural Patrol Boat Round Up in Guam this summer. The event is an opportunity to bring together like-minded partners in Micronesia and share best practices in seamanship, damage control, and at-sea law enforcement over a week. Events will also include opportunities for fellowship, such as sporting events, hikes, and cookouts.

The U.S. Coast Guard is honored to invite the Republic of Palau's Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Federated States of Micronesia's Maritime Wing to join as critical partners for this event. Their participation, along with RMI's Sea Patrol, means over 100 maritime professionals from five countries could be present and underscores the collaborative spirit of this gathering in Guam.

"Since their commissioning, our three Fast Response Cutters out of Guam have traversed the Micronesian region multiple times and are always met with the greatest hospitality," stated Cmdr. Ryan Crose. "Our ship crews are continually impressed with the caliber of the members of the maritime forces of all three COFA states, and it's only fitting that we invite them to our home and reciprocate that hospitality."

While in Majuro, Cmdr. Crose and Lt. Cmdr. Igisomar represented the U.S. Coast Guard at the Australia Day celebration in Majuro and spent time with Her Excellency Dr. Hilda Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; His Excellency Kalani Kaneko Jr., Minister of Foreign Affairs; Senator David Kramer; and the Australian Ambassador to the RMI, his Excellency Paul Wilson, and members of the U.S. Embassy team. The Australia National Day is observed annually on January 26. It is an opportunity for Australians to celebrate all the things they love about their country: land, a sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, freedom, people, and their various cultures, traditions, and belief systems.

Lt. Cmdr. Christine Igisomar reflected on the U.S.-Australia partnership, stating, "In the past few years, our team in Guam really leaned into the positive working relationship with our Australia Maritime Security Advisors. The value of Australia's Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP) support cannot be understated. It enables the maritime forces in the COFA states, and we augment their efforts as a coast guard. Together, we support the COFA states' desire for increased maritime domain awareness and sovereignty over the waters that rightfully belong to them. Inviting us to Australia Day showcases how we truly are walking in step with each other."

-USCG-

The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team focuses on maritime safety, security, and stewardship in Oceania. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and over 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities.