HONOLULU—The crew of Coast Guard cutter Rush returned to its homeport following a successful 72-day deployment in the Central and Western Pacific, Monday.
Rush departed in July 2014 and spent the last two months conducting operations in the Central and Western Pacific.
Rush also participated in international engagement activities in American Samoa, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Rush enforced U.S. foreign fishing laws utilizing embarked shipriders from Tonga, Tuvalu, and Nauru. Rush also enforced Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission regulations. Rush’s law enforcement presence increased the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness across the Pacific.
To enhance detection of fishing vessels, Rush embarked a helicopter and aviation detachment from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. In support of Rush’s deployment, the helicopter crew investigated potential vessels to be boarded and passed critical information regarding their location, course, and speed.
Rush’s crew participated in several community outreach and volunteer events during their patrol that included delivering hygiene and first aid supplies, in support of the U.S. Navy’s Project Handclasp, to several Pacific Island Nations. Rush also built a garden to support an abused children’s shelter in Samoa and played sports and games with disabled children in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The efforts of the crew during this deployment highlighted the Coast Guard’s commitment to sustaining the Western and Central Pacific fishery while enhancing international relationships with our Pacific Island neighbors, said Capt. Dante Vinciguerra, Rush’s commanding officer.
“Whether conducting an at sea boarding or performing search and rescue, it is a pleasure watching cutter Rush’s crew in action. Individually they are a skilled group of professionals, but working together they have made a powerful team throughout the patrol,” he said.
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission draws on many of the provisions of the U.N. Fish Stocks Agreement while at the same time, reflecting the special political, socio-economic, geographical, and environmental characteristics of the western and central Pacific Ocean region. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission seeks to address problems in the management of high seas fisheries resulting from unregulated fishing, over-capitalization, excessive fleet capacity, vessel re-flagging to escape controls, insufficiently selective gear, unreliable databases, and insufficient multilateral cooperation in respect to conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks.
Rush is a 378-foot high endurance cutter with a range of more than 13,000 miles and a permanent crew of 160 personnel. The Rush was launched in 1968 and has been conducting Coast Guard missions for nearly 50 years. The Coast Guard is replacing the high endurance cutters with the new national security cutter capable of executing the most challenging operations, including supporting maritime homeland security and defense missions. For more information on the national security cutter, visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/NSC/. (USCG)