HONOLULU – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche arrived in Hawaii June 26, to participate in the 2014 Rim Of The Pacific, the largest multi-national maritime exercise in the world.
Waesche’s participation in RIMPAC 2014 will highlight the Coast Guard’s unique capabilities and partnerships with Department of Defense entities and international partners along the Pacific Rim. It will also serve as a unique, large-scale training opportunity that will provide realistic training in support of a wide range of Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, maritime interdiction, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and national defense missions.
During the transit out to the islands the cutter Waesche participated in a group sail that included ships from Canada, Chile, Norway and three U.S. Navy ships. The sail included training evolutions in complex ship formations, live fire exercises and maritime interdiction operations to help prepare the crews for their upcoming RIMPAC participation.
“Waesche’s participation in RIMPAC is an incredible opportunity for us to really exercise the capabilities of the National Security Cutter with our DoD and international partners. The lessons we learn here will strengthen our ability to work with our partners to respond to the real world threats faced by all nations with interests in the Pacific,” said Capt. John McKinley, commanding officer of the cutter Waesche.
Twenty-two countries will participate in the 24th occurrence of the RIMPAC exercises, which is scheduled by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and will be conducted in Pearl Harbor and the adjacent waters of Hawaii from Jun. 26th through Aug.1st.
While in transit to Hawaii, cutter Waesche, along with Coast Guard units in southern California, the U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection and the Mexican Navy worked together to interdict approximately 4,600 pounds of marijuana and apprehend three suspected smugglers in international waters about 150 miles southwest of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif.,Waesche, the second of eight planned National Security Cutters, is 418 feet long with a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles and a permanent crew of 120. She is equipped with a flight deck and hangars capable of housing two multi-mission helicopters.