BALTIMORE — A tour and reception for Pacific Islands Forum leaders was held aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward (WMEC 911) in Baltimore on Sunday.
This prelude to the official start of the U.S. PIF Summit was hosted by Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Linda Fagan, and was widely attended by Pacific Island leaders.
The engagement included a tour of the cutter and remarks from Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Dr. Kurt Campbell, President Surangel Whipps Jr. of Palau, and Fagan.
“The Coast Guard greatly values our ongoing partnerships with the members of the Pacific Islands Forum,” said Fagan. “We are committed to working together with our partners to improve maritime governance and stewardship across the region, and maintain a rules-based, free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The tour provided leaders the opportunity to gain first-hand awareness of the capabilities of Forward, which is the same class ship as U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane (WMEC 903). Harriet Lane is scheduled to arrive in the Pacific region by the end of 2023 and will increase the U.S. Coast Guard’s presence and capacity in the Indo-Pacific. By the end of 2023, U.S. Coast Guard assets will have been deployed for 380 days supporting Pacific Island countries’ sovereignty.
The Summit renews the United States’ commitment to enhancing our partnership with the Pacific Islands, and the respective governments, to achieve a shared vision for a resilient Pacific where individuals can reach their potential, the environment can thrive and democracy can flourish.
The Indo-Pacific region stretches from the U.S. Pacific coastline to the Eastern shores of Africa and is home to half of the world’s population and two-thirds of the global economy. The Coast Guard has operated in the Indo-Pacific for more than 150 years, and the Service is increasing its presence and efforts through patrols and other engagements conducted in support of Coast Guard missions to enhance vital partnerships.