US Coast Guard Cutter ports in Cabo Verde

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The Famous-class medium endurance US Coast Guard Cutter Spencer has arrived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for a scheduled port visit.

The US Navy said the vessel arrived on 2 January and marked the first stop for Spencer, while employed by US Sixth Fleet in the US Naval Forces Europe and Africa area of operations.

“Spencer’s visit to Praia demonstrates NAVAF [Naval Forces Africa] and the US Coast Guard’s commitment and longstanding partnership to work with our African partners to counter illicit maritime activity in the Atlantic Ocean. During the port visit, Spencer will embark maritime counterparts from Cabo Verde, Senegal and The Gambia,” the US Navy said.

“The crew is excited for this unique opportunity and we look forward to working with our partners to regulate fisheries and combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing,” said Commander Corey Kerns, Spencer’s commanding officer.

The US Coast Guard regularly integrates and operates within the NAVAF area of operations, the US Navy explained, adding that the US Coast Guard’s authorities and capabilities provide the Joint Force with unique tools that bridge the cooperation-to-conflict continuum.

“Cabo Verde is an important partner of the US in promoting peace and security in Africa. In December 2022, the US and Cabo Verde signed a memorandum of understanding for defence cooperation between the two countries, which will focus on continuing to counter illicit maritime activities through security cooperation. Later this month, Cabo Verde will participate in the NAVAF-led exercise Obangame Express 2022, the largest annual maritime security exercise in Western Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges,” the US Navy said.

“The US Embassy in Praia proudly welcomes the arrival of US Coast Guard Cutter Spencer to Cabo Verde. This ship visit is yet another example of the growing cooperation between US and Cabo Verdean maritime forces, which is improving safety and security for our two nations and the entire region,” said Jeff Daigle, US ambassador to Cabo Verde.

In April 2022, as part of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership, the US and African maritime forces, led by Cabo Verde, worked in coordination with the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics, the International Police, and Cabo Verde’s national Maritime Operations Centre to conduct a compliant boarding of a fishing vessel, which led to the seizure of approximately 6 000 kilograms of suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $350 million.

The Famous-class medium endurance cutters support the US Coast Guard’s maritime law enforcement and search and rescue missions. These cutters are capable of supporting flight operations with either a MH-65 Dolphin or a MH-60 Jayhawk.