ALAMEDA, Calif. -- BNS Somudra Joy, formerly the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis, departed Saturday from Alameda, marking a major milestone in international cooperation between the United States and Bangladesh.
Joined by a small Coast Guard team of advisors, lead by Cmdr. Wendy Tomko, the Bangladeshi crew will make port calls at San Diego, Honolulu, Guam and Malaysia on their way to Bangladesh.
This concludes a two-year-long process of identifying the cutter for decommissioning, advising foreign allies of its availability, allocating it to a country with the capability of supporting it, and whose national defense objectives align with United States' regional goals, Letters of Offer and Acceptance, decommissioning and transfer ceremonies, training a new crew, and establishing the initial support of what is often the largest and most complex combatant vessel the receiving country has seen.
This marks the fourth transfer as the Coast Guard brings its newest asset, the 418-foot national security cutter, into service. The Philippine navy operates two former Coast Guard high endurance cutters, PF15 Gregorio Del Pilar, formerly the Hamilton, and PF16 Ramon Alcarez, formerly the Dallas. The Nigerian navy operates the former cutter Chase, now NS Thunder, and are returning for the Gallitan in 2014 when it completes its last Coast Guard patrol.