U.S., Philippine, Japan Coast Guards Conduct Trilateral Engagements

Members of the U.S., Philippine and Japan Coast Guards in Manila in June as part of professional exchanges and joint operations. Photo via USCG.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Stratton and crew arrived in Manila on June 1 to conduct professional exchanges and joint operations with members of the Philippine and Japan Coast Guards during Stratton’s months-long Indo-Pacific deployment.

Members from the three Coast Guards engaged in the first ever group of trilateral activities at sea and in port during a multi-day visit building upon enduring partnerships between the nations.

“We’re eager to join the Philippine and Japan Coast Guards and participate in meaningful engagements with our allies and partners both in port and at sea,” Stratton’s commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Brian Krautler, said. “This first trilateral engagement between the Coast Guards of these nations will provide invaluable opportunities to strengthen global maritime governance though professional exchanges and combined operations.”

Operating under the tactical control of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Stratton’s crew engaged in subject matter exchanges with partners and allies throughout the region.

The Coast Guard’s steadfast partnerships and presence in the Indo-Pacific have increased in recent years. Stratton’s Indo-Pacific patrol is the cutter’s second patrol in the region and one of seven national security cutter deployments to the Indo-Pacific since 2019.

The Coast Guard cutter Midgett conducted an at-sea search-and-rescue exercise with the Philippine Coast Guard following a port call to Manila in 2022. Midgett’s crew conducted professional engagements and subject matter expert exchanges between the two services during the multi-day port visit.

Also, the Coast Guard cutter Kimball conducted combined operations and search-and-rescue exercises with the Japan Coast Guard in Kagoshima, Japan during its Western Pacific patrol in February in support of Operation Solid Alliance for Peace and Prosperity with Humanity and Integrity on the Rule of law-based Engagement (SAPPHIRE). SAPPHIRE is a joint agreement between the U.S. and Japan Coast Guards signed in 2022 for enhancing cooperation between the two sea services.

Commissioned in 2012, Stratton is one of four Coast Guard legend-class national security cutters homeported in Alameda, Calif. National security cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide, and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 170.