The United States Coast Guard Cutter Maui recently returned to her homeport in Bahrain after a prolonged period supporting the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter-terrorism and maritime security task force, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), patrolling the Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea from December 2014 to February 2015.
Maui was the first US Coast Guard Cutter to provide direct support of CTF-150 since 2011 and the first such ship to operate outside the Straits of Hormuz in nearly two years.
Commodore Brian Santarpia from the Royal Canadian Navy and current Commander of CTF-150 said:
“The crews are well-prepared to undertake counter-terrorism and maritime security patrols with CTF-150 as the international CMF mission is comparable to the stateside Coast Guard counter narcotics mission. Overall, the Coast Guardsmen are well trained for and properly prepared to execute their tasking, adding valuable expertise to our operations.”
Lieutenant Joseph Haynsworth, Maui’s Commanding Officer could not agree more:
“Maui’s crew have a vast background of Coast Guard experiences, with personnel onboard having conducted boardings on smuggling vessels throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.”
Despite the challenges of the small Ship’s Company, with only 21 sailors onboard, Maui was called upon to do more than what is normally expected from a ship of her size, filling a major role in the mission. The boarding team executed several boarding and approach and visits operations, and the ship’s executive team provided valuable data about the maritime traffic in and around the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea, strengthening CTF-150’s understanding of the maritime picture in the area.
Throughout the patrol, Maui was able to coordinate with the patrol craft, destroyers, aircraft and oilers supporting CTF-150’s mission, ensuring maximum radar coverage, vectoring ships to boarding opportunities, and coordinating logistics. At one point, Maui extended the normal endurance of a Coast Guard Cutter, spending a total 13 days at sea; this was only possible thanks to mutual logistics support from other CTF-150 and US Fifth Fleet assets in her vicinity.
Lieutenant Haynsworth added:
“The joint efforts between ships were a major force multiplier throughout the patrol, and the team spirit exhibited by everyone working for CMF was paramount to Maui’s success.”