MANAMA, BAHRAIN –
Two U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutters arrived in Beirut, Lebanon for a scheduled port visit July 25, marking their arrival to the Middle East after departing the United States and transiting the Mediterranean Sea.
Fast response cutters USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) are the newest additions to a slate of Coast Guard ships supporting U.S. 5th Fleet from Bahrain.
“The John Scheuerman crew is excited to begin operations in U.S. 5th Fleet where we will have the opportunity to collaborate with our partners in the region,” said Lt. Trent Moon, commanding officer of John Scheuerman. “I am extremely proud of this crew and they have proved that we are ready for the opportunities ahead.”
The visit comes on the heels of the Lebanese Armed Forces completing an annual maritime exercise with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, July 23. Approximately 60 U.S. personnel from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard participated in bilateral exchanges focused on maritime security operations, mine countermeasures and explosive ordnance disposal.
“The crew and I are thrilled to arrive in Lebanon en route to our new operating station,” said Lt. David Anderson, commanding officer of Clarence Sutphin Jr.
While in Beirut, crewmembers will meet with Lebanese Navy counterparts on subjects related to shipboard operations, safety and damage control. Coast Guardsmen will also participate in cultural exchange opportunities planned ashore.
The Sentinel-class cutters are the final two of six that are overseen by Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the Coast Guard's largest unit outside of the United States. The new cutters feature advanced communications systems and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.
The ships are forward-deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet to help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East.
The U.S. 5th Fleet operating area includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandeb and Suez Canal.