Ho'okele Staff | Mar 03, 2017
Story and photos by MC3 Danny Kelley
Navy Public Affairs Support West
The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy completed an 18-day joint mission in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security, Feb. 18.
A Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team (LEDET) 103 embarked USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and conducted 16 fisheries enforcement boardings with the assistance of the ship’s visit, board, search and seizure team and law enforcement ship riders from Tuvalu and Nauru.
“While OMSI is an operational mission in nature, its execution has vast strategic implications for the Oceanic region,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., commanding officer of Michael Murphy. “Our patrol reinforced our strong support to the security and economic prosperity of the Pacific Island Nations.”
Five of the boardings were conducted on the high seas under the western and central Pacific Fisheries Commission guidelines with zero violations, while the other 11 were conducted in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Tuvalu and Nauru, with no violations in either zone.
“Like our forefathers who sailed these waters years ago, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard partnership remains a formidable maritime force,” Heely said.
“We enjoyed working alongside the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Foreign Fisheries Agency and our partners from Tuvalu and Nauru. It was a true team effort, and I am proud of team Murphy’s resilience and professionalism in accomplishing the mission.”
Partnership between the Coast Guard and Navy supports OMSI, a Secretary of defense program that utilizes Department of Defense assets transiting the Pacific region to build maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting the Coast Guard’s maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania.