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NEWS | April 23, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard partners conduct Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation at the Port of Guam

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

On April 18, 2024, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam spearheaded a comprehensive Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation (MASFO), meticulously inspecting 172 containers at the Port of Guam.

This operation is part of ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and security of containerized cargo, which is crucial for the island's economy and environmental protection.

The MASFO brought together various agencies, including the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, Port Authority Police, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other law enforcement and regulatory bodies. These agencies collaboratively exercised their inspection capabilities, focusing on containerized cargo across all modes of transportation.

"This operation shows our commitment to working hand-in-hand with partner agencies. Through these collaborative efforts, we enhance our inspection capabilities and foster a shared understanding of operational and jurisdictional nuances," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Gonzales, a Marine Science Technician who led the operation for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Objectives of the MASFO

  1. Elevate Regulatory Inspection Activity: Intensify inspection efforts throughout the port to maintain high security and compliance standards.
  2. Reinforce Cargo Safety and Security: Highlight the importance of secure cargo transportation within a multi-modal port environment.
  3. Enhance Cross-agency Collaboration: Provide an environment conducive to joint training and sharing of best practices among local and federal agencies.
  4. Adherence to Safety Standards: Ensure all operations are conducted in strict compliance with applicable safety regulations and standards.

"The Port of Guam is a linchpin in the Pacific's marine transportation network. These unannounced inspections reinforce the critical role that compliance plays in maintaining the security and efficiency of our maritime infrastructure. Today's operation is a testament to our collective dedication to safeguarding these vital supply chains," said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam and the Captain of the Port.

This MASFO follows closely on the heels of the annual facility compliance inspection conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard on April 9, 2024. These rigorous inspections underscore the ongoing commitment of the U.S. Coast Guard and its partner agencies to uphold the highest standards of safety, security, and environmental compliance at the Port of Guam.

The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team comprised Marine Science Technicians from the prevention and inspections department and Maritime Enforcement Specialists from the Sector Boarding Team. The U.S. Coast Guard remains dedicated to ensuring the security and operational integrity of the region's maritime activities, reinforcing the strategic importance of the Port of Guam in promoting regional alliances and trade.

-USCG-

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

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.