Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro have returned their vessel to Alameda, California, following a three-month, 15,000-mile multi-mission patrol that took them from fisheries enforcement in the Bering Sea to participation in the Rim of the Pacific 2020 exercise in Hawaii.
During their 37 days in the Bering Sea, the Munro crew boarded 11 commercial fishing vessels to ensure compliance with U.S. fishery and safety regulations. The Munro also patrolled the maritime boundary line separating U.S. and Russia waters to prevent foreign fishing vessels from entering U.S. waters, and joined a Russian Border Guard vessel in a joint border patrol to promote the economic security of both countries.
The Munro then represented the Coast Guard In the at-sea-only biennial Rim of the Pacific 2020 (RIMPAC) exercise Aug. 17-31 in the Hawaiian Islands.
RIMPAC (https://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/) exercise participants include 10 nations, with 22 ships, one submarine and multiple aircraft. The Munro crew conducted formation steaming exercises, communications drills, maritime intercept operations and live-fire training alongside partner nations. These included forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and the United States.
Coast Guard officials said that RIMPAC 2020 was developed to ensure the safety of all participating military forces and Hawaii’s population by minimizing shore-based contingents while striking a balance between combating future adversaries and the COVID-19 threat.
Munro commanding officer Capt. Blake Novak said this was Munro’s first Alaska patrol. “It was an incredible opportunity to patrol as far north as the Arctic Circle to protect our borders and natural resources, and then transition to leveraging our Department of Defense partnership with RIMPAC exercises,” Novak said. He credited the success of the mission to the young women and men that make up the diverse crew of the vessel.
As a pandemic precaution the Munro crew underwent pre-deployment COVID-19 testing, followed by a 14-day monitoring period.