The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro visited Yokosuka, Japan and the Republic of Korea during international port visits conducted in July and August.
In Japan, the Munro conducted training and engagements with the Japan Coast Guard; in Gwangyang, South Korea, the cutter conducted several days of engagements and exchanges with the Korea Coast Guard.
The Munro arrived Aug. 6 while deployed in the Indo-Pacific and hosted several members of the Japan Coast Guard for professional exchanges, including showcasing the Munro’s small boat and aerial capabilities and search-and-rescue operations.
The visit allowed members of both services to discuss their dual mission objectives and share maritime security challenges.
The Munro’s commanding officer, Capt. Rula Deisher, said it has been a privilege for the Munro to work alongside its Japanese partners to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Munro, a 418-foot national security cutter under the tactical control of the U.S. 7th Fleet, departed its homeport in Alameda, Calif. on June 23 for a months-long deployment to the Western Pacific.
The vessel’s crew was set to engage in capacity-building exercises with partner nations while patrolling the region in support of maritime security. The deployment followed that of the Coast Guard cutter Stratton, which recently completed an Indo-Pacific patrol.
In May 2022, the USCG and Japan Coast Guard formally expanded cooperative agreements through a memorandum of understanding named SAPPHIRE, an acronym for Solid Alliance for Peace and Prosperity with Humanity and Integrity on the Rule of law-based Engagement.
It’s an expansion of an agreement reached in 2010, focusing on maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Before it departed South Korea in mid-August, the Munro conducted several days of engagements and exchanges with the Korea Coast Guard. The port call and follow-on at-sea engagements occurred during the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance, which began July 25, 1953.
“We appreciate and look forward to our continued partnership and at-sea engagements with the Korea Coast Guard,” Deisher said. “We are thankful for the hospitality of the city of Gwangyang and truly enjoyed the many opportunities provided to participate in both professional and cultural exchanges.”
During the visit, the Munro hosted several members of the Korea Coast Guard for a tour and lunch. The group also held a planning meeting to discuss operations and plan the joint at-sea engagement.
Additionally, the Korea Coast Guard Academy hosted the Munro’s crew for a tour of the academy’s facilities. Later in the week, Munro and Korea Coast Guard vessel KCG 3011 hosted tours for each other’s crew members, offering both U.S. and Korea Coast Guard crews opportunities to exchange ideas, ask questions, and build professional relationships.
The Korea Coast Guard also invited Munro’s crew to tour the Suncheoman International Garden Expo in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the alliance.
Munro and KCG 3011 conducted an at-sea engagement, including subject matter expert exchanges, coordinated ship maneuvers and small-boat operations.
The Coast Guard’s Pacific Area is responsible for 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 U.S. West Coast to the Indo-Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Arctic and Antarctic regions.