Coast Guard Engages in Military Exercises with Japanese Training Ships

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf. Photo: Dept. of Homeland Security.

The Coast Guard cutter Bertholf conducted training exercises with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in the Bering Sea and Dutch Harbor during a 120-day Bering Sea summer patrol in support of U.S. national security.

The engagements at sea and shoreside, prior to the Bertholf’s return to homeport in Alameda, Calif. on Aug. 3, included multiple formations with JMSDF training ships Kashima and Hatakaze.

All three ships came together with the Unalaska community and officials of the Qawalangin Tribe for a ceremony marking the 81st anniversary of World War II’s Battle of Dutch Harbor, to commemorate lives lost and to recognize partnerships built in the decades that followed.

Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Seventeenth District, Unalaska Mayor Vincent Tutiakoff and JMSDF Training Squadron Commander Rear Adm. Konno Yasushige presided over the ceremony and exchanged official gifts.

While on patrol in the Bering Sea, Bertholf’s crew conducted 15 boardings of commercial fishing vessels, to ensure compliance with federal fisheries laws and to preserve highly valuable U.S. marine resources.

The boardings also helped ensure that the domestic fishing fleet has sufficient safety equipment to survive in the event of an at-sea emergency, the Coast Guard said.

The Bertholf crew guarded the boundary line between the U.S. and Russian exclusive economic zone to ensure that fish in U.S. waters were protected from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing from foreign nations.

Later, the Bertholf anchored in Kotzebue Sound and engaged in events with local residents, including a softball game. While there, Bertholf’s law enforcement operators met with fishermen and fish processors to, the Coast Guard said, establish positive relationships and ensure awareness of boater safety regulations and salmon skiff exemptions in the region.