Daily Press (Sunday)

Portsmouth to Hawaii: Cutter gets new home

Harriet Lane sent to boost Coast Guard’s footprint in Pacific

- By Kevin Knodell The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The U.S. Coast Guard’s CGC Harriet Lane and its crew arrived last week in its new home port of Honolulu.

The cutter sailed more than 8, 000 nautical miles over 36 days from Portsmouth to join the Coast Guard’s District 14, which is headquarte­red on Oahu and is the service’s largest area of operations.

“Re-homeportin­g U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane is indicative of the Coast Guard’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific — the most dynamic region in the world, ” said deputy commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson in a release. “Harriet

Lane will work by, with, and through allies and partners within the Indo-Pacific region to promote capacity building and model good maritime governance.”

The Coast Guard has been steadily boosting its footprint in the Pacific. In 2021 the service added an unpreceden­ted three fast-response cutters to its sector on Guam, and in February, Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, the Coast Guard deputy commandant for operations and policy, told military news outlet Defense One that the service intends to triple its deployment­s in the Pacific in coming years.

In March the Coast Guard announced the Harriet Lane would be going to Hawaii. The ship was commission­ed in 1984 and recently spent more than 15 months in a Service Life Extension Program in Baltimore to prepare for its new mission as an “Indo-Pacific Support

Cutter.” The 270-foot vessel brings a crew of about 100 new Coast Guardsmen and puts the number of cutters assigned to District 14 up to 11.

Several of the Coast Guard’s cutters already assigned to District 14 are set to go through maintenanc­e periods.

“The crew and I look forward to building partnershi­ps in Oceania to enhance our capabiliti­es, strengthen maritime governance and security while promoting individual sovereignt­y, ” said Cmdr. Nicole Tesoniero, commanding officer of the cutter. “We plan to build upon many decades of enduring support, operating in concert with the needs of our partners.”

Many Pacific island nations lack a navy or coast guard. The U.S. Coast Guard regularly receives requests for assistance in search and rescue operations as well as tracking suspicious vessels. U.S. officials have cited concerns about overfishin­g, particular­ly by China’s large state-subsidized fleet, as among the reasons for a boosting the Coast Guard’s footprint in the region.

The vessel has a long history at sea.

In 1994, it was the command ship for Operation Able Manner forces, a mission to rescue thousands of Haitian and Cuban refugees who became trapped at sea while they joined a wave to cross the Windward Passage and Florida Straits toward shores in the United States. The crew was credited with saving over 2, 400 people during the operation.

The Harriet Lane was also involved in the search and recovery of Trans World Airlines Flight 800 in 1996 and the response to the disastrous Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

 ?? U.S. COAST GUARD ?? U.S. Coast Guard cutter Harriet Lane, formerly homeported in Portsmouth, has a new base in Honolulu.
U.S. COAST GUARD U.S. Coast Guard cutter Harriet Lane, formerly homeported in Portsmouth, has a new base in Honolulu.

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