The Coast Guard cutter Kimball returned to its homeport in Honolulu on Nov. 2 after completing an 85-day patrol covering 14,000 nautical miles from the Hawaiian Islands north to the Arctic Circle.
While at sea, the crew provided search-and rescue coverage and conducted living marine resources (LMR) and counter Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing operations during the patrol, following a response to wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
On Aug. 8, while en route to the Aleutian Islands, the cutter received a report of people in the water attempting to escape a raging wildfire on Maui. The cutter shifted to the tactical control of Sector Honolulu and altered course to support the mass search and rescue efforts.
Arriving on scene within hours, the Kimball became the on-scene commander of Coast Guard Station Maui, Coast Guard cutter Joseph Gerczak and Air Station Barbers Point MH-65s, which collectively searched 790 square nautical miles, saved 17 lives, and assisted some 40 survivors ashore.
During Kimball‘s three days on scene, their crew launched two cutter small boats for over 25 combined hours and deployed the cutter’s drone for over eight hours of flight time, conducting search and rescue and damage assessment support.
After being relieved of duty there, Kimball‘s crew transited north to support the Coast Guard’s 17th District by providing search-and-rescue coverage and conducting LMR and counter IUU fishing patrols spanning the Northern Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea and the American Arctic.
As the sole U.S. military asset in the Bering Sea, Kimball diverted to provide a presence alongside the U.S. domestic fishing fleet in the remote region of the U.S. Arctic upon receiving intelligence of a Russian military exercise within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The Kimball’s presence ensured the safety of 23 mariners while they worked within the U.S. EEZ near Russian warships as part of Operation Frontier Sentinel.