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Press Release | March 18, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf visits Malaysia, strengthens partnerships with Southeast Asia regional allies

PORT KLANG, Malaysia - U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) departed Port Klang, Malaysia, March 4, following several engagements with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and multiple Malaysian dignitaries.

The Bertholf was the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to pull into Port Klang.

The crew arrived on March 1 after completing a joint transit through the Malacca Strait alongside the Republic of Singapore Navy vessel, MSRV Guardian.

During the transit, two officers from the MMEA joined as shipriders to observe U.S. Coast Guard operations while transiting to Port Klang. This provided the MMEA members an opportunity to work together with the crew of the Bertholf during the journey.

While moored in Port Klang, the Bertholf crew conducted multiple exercises and trainings with members from the MMEA, Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard, Korea Coast Guard, and Australian Border Force, to bolster the interoperability across Southeast Asia. These trainings included maritime law enforcement drills, launching and recovering small boats, emergency rescue procedures, and shipboard damage control tactics.

“As professional mariners, we strive for proficiency and effectiveness in protecting national interests and livelihoods,” said Capt. Billy Mees, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf commanding officer. “Persistent and integrated operations enable us to pursue these goals together and strengthen each other’s services. Together, we continue to work towards a vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, underpinned by collaboration and mutual respect.”

In addition, the Bertholf hosted a reception on the cutter’s flight deck, Saturday evening. The Bertholf was honored to host U.S. Ambassador-designate Edgard D. Kagan and multiple Malaysian dignitaries, including Director General Dato’ Anis Rizana Binti Mohd Zainudin of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Director Norzaid bin Muhammad Said of the Royal Malaysian Police, and Rear Adm. Yusne Mokhtar with the Ministry of Defense Malaysia.

Bertholf is proud to support the United States’ continued efforts to facilitate force-multiplying partnerships in Southeast Asia to preserve the sovereignty and security of allies in the region.

Commissioned in 2008, Bertholf is the first legend-class national security cutter and is homeported in Alameda, California. National security cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide, and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 170.