CHARLESTON, SC – USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) and its Legend-class national security crew will return to Charleston on Friday, following a historic deployment to Europe in conjunction with the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet, allies and partners.
“By operating with the Sixth Fleet, we are expanding the global reach of the Coast Guard and advancing the maritime strategy of our nation’s three services,” said Captain Timothy Cronin, Commanding Officer of USCGC Hamilton. “This deployment also strengthened our commitment to freedom of navigation in international waters while strengthening capacities and partnerships with nations sharing common maritime interests and threats.”
After departing North Charleston, SC on February 28, the Hamilton crew stopped in Puerto Rico and then headed to Rota, Spain with two Sentinel-class quick-response cutters, the USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) on the transatlantic portion of the Rapid Response Cutters 9,000 mile voyage to home port in Bahrain and service in the Patrol Forces in South Asia -Where is.
After escorting the cutters and leaving Spain, Hamilton then traveled to Italy, Georgia, Ukraine and Malta. The crew conducted various operational exercises with maritime components from each country and forces from Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria.
Hamilton entered the Mediterranean Sea on April 15 and the Black Sea on April 27 to support NATO allies and partners. Hamilton was the first US Coast Guard to visit the Black Sea since 2008. The last US Coast Guard in the Black Sea was USCGC Dallas (WHEC 716) and sailed to the Black Sea twice, once in 2008 and 1995.
Since leaving the Black Sea on May 14, Hamilton’s crew have traveled to Valletta, Malta, and have conducted sea engagements with the Armed Forces of Malta. They also made a brief logistical stopover in Rota, Spain on May 23. Hamilton transited out of the Mediterranean Sea, concluding recent crew operations in the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility on May 24.
“The relationships we build are fundamental to building maritime safety and security around the world,” said Lt. Cmdr. Taylor Kellogg, USCGC Hamilton operations officer. “Together with our allies and NATO partners, we are advancing the rule of law at sea, ensuring free and open access to the maritime domain.”
The US Coast Guard, as demonstrated by this deployment, is a welcome presence and an essential contributor to maintaining maritime safety, security and stability in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Hard-won and enduring partnerships in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean give the Coast Guard unique access to vital partners. These efforts help build unique partnerships through a wide range of capabilities, skills and specialized maritime authorities. The United States Coast Guard’s multi-mission mandate as a law enforcement agency, regulator, and military arm makes the Service’s comparative advantage unique and unprecedented.
“All nations enjoy free and open access to the maritime domain,” said Vice Admiral Steven Poulin, Commander of the Atlantic Zone of the US Coast Guard. “We seek to encourage a united global effort to protect this access. Allies and partners are integral to protecting our common interests, preserving our multilateral competitive advantage, and upholding rules-based international order. Hamilton’s tremendous efforts strengthen our alliances and partnerships by developing interchangeable capabilities, combined operations, theater security cooperation and capacity building measures. Together, we defend sovereignty against malicious influences and coercion. “
The United States Navy and United States Coast Guard operate forward, from the coastline to the open ocean, ensuring the stability and openness of sea lanes in all areas of the sea. The operations of the United States Coast Guard in the United States Sixth Fleet demonstrate the Service’s commitment, flexibility and ability to operate and respond to security challenges across Europe and Africa.
The U.S. Coast Guard leads routine deployments with the U.S. Navy, working alongside Allies, increasing maritime awareness, sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards, and leveraging the combined advantage services at sea.