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Press Release | April 22, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard engages with CNMI, Guam agencies in subject matter expert exchange on boat forces operations

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

SAIPAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — U.S. Coast Guard members from U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam participated in a comprehensive subject matter expert exchange with multiple agencies in Saipan from April 8-12, 2024, to enhance inter-agency cooperation and proficiency in maritime operations.

During this pivotal event, Chief Petty Officer Richard Hofschneider of the Forces Micronesia Ready for Operations department, Chief Petty Officer Robert Cook, Petty Officer 1st Class Juan Taijeron, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Darren Apiag, also a Coast Guard reservist from Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor in Guam, met with representatives from CNMI Department of Fire and EMS (DFEMS) and CNMI Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). 

This collaborative effort also included representatives from the Guam Department of Agriculture, which contributed two officers to the exchange, highlighting the program's inclusive and comprehensive approach.

Participants engaged in a series of classroom and practical on-the-water training scenarios covering key maritime components such as administration, navigation, training programs, rescue and survival systems, and engineering. These activities are conducted at no cost to the local government and are designed to bolster each agency's capabilities while ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage maritime operations and safety effectively.

Key outcomes from the exchange included requests for a future risk management workshop to help establish a comprehensive risk management program and policy, a workshop to establish certification requirements for boat operations, and further familiarization with aids to navigation and navigation rules. All agencies expressed a desire for assistance drafting new or updated standardized procedures and manuals to formalize their agency programs and improve future operations and personnel onboarding. 

"The enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by all participants, especially our colleagues from DFW, were truly commendable," said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Igisomar, the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam maritime advisor. "It's inspiring to see such active engagement and dedication to improving our collective capabilities. This exchange strengthens our operational readiness and reinforces the bonds between our agencies."

This event builds upon the foundations laid during the cooperative search and rescue exercise conducted in September 2023. It underscores the ongoing commitment of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam to fostering and maintaining robust partnerships with CNMI counterparts.


About U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam
The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team focuses on maritime safety, security, and stewardship in Oceania. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and over 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities.