ALAMEDA, Calif. — The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) returned to their Alameda homeport Wednesday following a 23,000-mile, multi-month Western Pacific patrol operating in support of U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet by conducting multiple engagements with partner nations promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Munro departed Alameda in June and was the Coast Guard's third national security cutter deployed to the Indo-Pacific region this year.
The Indo-Pacific region stretches from the United States Pacific coastline to the Indian Ocean; it is home to over half of the world's population and accounts for two-thirds of the global economy.
Throughout the 118-day patrol, Munro participated in international engagements in Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, and with ships at sea from the Royal Thai Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy.
"This opportunity to work with our allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific increased our regional interoperability and sharpened our seamanship," said Capt. Rula Deisher, Munro's commanding officer. "We thoroughly enjoyed conducting professional exchanges, improving maritime capabilities, and strengthening maritime governance in the region by fostering global connectivity, facilitating cohesion and steps taken towards ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific."
While in Yokosuka, Japan, Munro hosted a luncheon aboard with several key members of the Japan Coast Guard to discuss Operation Solid Alliance for Peace and Prosperity with Humanity and Integrity on the Rule of law-based Engagement (SAPPHIRE). SAPPHIRE is a joint agreement between the U.S. and Japan Coast Guards signed in 2022 to enhance cooperation between the two sea services.
Munro's crew had the opportunity to engage with members of the Korea Coast Guard (KCG) and tour the KCG's Academy and training ship while in Gwangyang, Republic of Korea. At sea, Munro and the Korea Coast Guard vessel KCG 3011 (Badaro) conducted a joint harbor sail, including ship maneuvers and small boat operations.
Munro conducted a port call in Malaysia, the U.S. Coast Guard's first cutter to visit the country since 2020. While there, crewmembers interacted with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and conducted several subject matter expert exchanges at the MMEA's training academy. Additionally, Munro hosted key leaders aboard for a luncheon and tour aboard the cutter.
At sea, Munro participated in the Southeast Asia Maritime Law Enforcement Initiative (SEAMLEI) in the Gulf of Thailand with Royal Thai and Malaysian Navies. SEAMLEI included mock boardings, flight operations, and formation steaming.
In Singapore, crewmembers engaged with members from the Information Fusion Center, U.S. Navy League, and Singapore Maritime & Port Authority personnel, as well as serving in a community relations event where the crew constructed desks and other furniture for a local school.
Munro's last port call in the region was in Brunei, where the crew participated in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), the first U.S. Coast Guard asset to do so in 23 years. Munro worked with the Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force, Brunei Department of Fisheries, Brunei Military Police, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy, conducting subject matter expert exchanges and exercises. During the at-sea portion of CARAT, Munro trained with a Royal Brunei Navy Patrol Vessel, Royal Brunei Air Force S-70 helicopter, and U.S. Navy P-8, conducting shipboard maneuvers and search and rescue exercises.
Named after Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, Munro is one of four Coast Guard national security cutters homeported in Alameda. The cutter's namesake is the Coast Guard's only Medal of Honor recipient. He was awarded for his actions and sacrifice in the defense, rescue, and evacuation of a U.S. Marine battalion from Point Cruz at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942.
National security cutters are the largest and most technologically sophisticated cutters in the Coast Guard's white-hull fleet. National security cutters can operate in the most demanding open ocean environments, including the North Pacific's hazardous fisheries and the Southern Pacific's vast approaches, where much of the American narcotics trafficking occurs. With robust command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment, stern boat launch and aviation facilities, as well as long-endurance station keeping, national security cutters are an afloat operational-level headquarters for complex law enforcement and national security missions involving multiple Coast Guard and partner agency participation.