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Press Release | April 10, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard cutter returns home following 98-day Indo-Pacific deployment

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) and crew returned home Monday following a 21,000-mile, 98-day Indo-Pacific deployment in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet.

Throughout the deployment, Bertholf led international engagements in the Republic of Singapore, Malaysia, and India, strengthening interoperability and maritime governance through joint at-sea exercises, professional engagements, and subject matter expert exchanges.

Bertholf departed Alameda on Jan. 2 as the Coast Guard’s first of multiple national security cutter deployments to the Indo-Pacific this year.

"The opportunities to work with our allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific increased our regional interoperability and greatly strengthened the bonds which we share as a seagoing service," said Capt. Billy Mees, Bertholf’s commanding officer. "We greatly appreciated engaging in professional interactions, enhancing maritime capabilities, and reinforcing maritime governance in the area through promoting global connections, fostering unity, and advancing efforts to maintain an open and free Indo-Pacific region.”

While operating in the vicinity of Singapore, the crew of the Bertholf participated in multiple professional engagements and training exercises with members of the Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Coast Guard, and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). Bertholf hosted U.S. Ambassador Jonathan E. Kaplan aboard for a tour and a chance for Bertholf’s crew to showcase the cutter’s operational capabilities.

Upon departure, Bertholf’s crew conducted at-sea exercises and subject matter expert exchanges with the Republic of Singapore Navy and MMEA, including a group sail through the Strait of Malacca.

Upon Bertholf’s service-first, historic arrival in Port Klang, Malaysia, the crew conducted several subject matter expert exchanges with the MMEA, Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard, Korea Coast Guard, and Australian Border Force. The joint training included maritime law enforcement skills, small boat launch and recoveries, emergency rescue and carry procedures, and shipboard damage control tactics to bolster interoperability across the maritime domain of Southeast Asia. Bertholf hosted U.S. Ambassador Edgard D. Kagan and Malaysian dignitaries onboard for a U.S. Embassy reception on the cutter’s flight deck.

Bertholf’s final international port call was Port Blair, India, marking the first time a U.S. Coast Guard cutter has visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India situated between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

During the four-day engagement, Bertholf’s crew participated in sporting events and reciprocal tours, and Bertholf’s officers attended a formal reception at the India Coast Guard’s regional headquarters. Bertholf and India Coast Guard participated in the joint exercise ‘Sea Defender,’ with two days of at-sea exercises that included responses to shipboard drone and small boat attacks, shipboard damage control evolutions, pollution responses, counter drug interdiction and non-compliant vessel pursuit tactics, security boardings, flight operations, and an overnight group sail with the India Coast Guard across the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone to the Strait of Malacca.

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

The 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet. It routinely operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Coast Guard Pacific Area is responsible for Coast Guard operations spanning six of the seven continents, 71 countries, and more than 74 million square miles of ocean. It stretches from the shores of the West Coast of the United States to the Indo-Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Arctic, and Antarctic regions. Pacific Area strives to integrate capabilities with partners to ensure collaboration and unity of effort throughout the Pacific.