The Coast Guard Sentinel-class fast response cutters USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) transited the Suez Canal, May 7. Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman are traveling to their new forward-deployed homeport in Bahrain to replace decommissioning island-class patrol boats as part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA).
“We have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of these new fast response cutters, which will join our team of highly capable forward deployed naval forces assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 and CTF 55,” said Capt. Michael Brasseur, deputy commodore of DESRON 50 and CTF 55. “They bring critical capabilities essential to meeting our maritime security and high value unit escort missions, as well as our ability to provide sentry ships to Coalition Task Force Sentinel.”
“The capabilities these new cutters bring to this area of operations (AOO) will be a force multiplier with the latest technological advances in command, control, communication and computer technology,” said Master Chief Petty Officer James Baxter, PATFORSWA Command Master Chief and former mechanical division lead at the Fast Response Cutter Project Resident Office in Lockport, Louisiana.
Moulthrope and Goldman are the first two of six Sentinel-class ships scheduled to join PATFORSWA, which is assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 55.While in the 5th Fleet AOO, the crews will conduct maritime security operations and support engagements with regional and coalition partners, strengthening relationships and demonstrating continued commitment to global maritime security and stability.
DESRON 50 and CTF 55 operate in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three critical chokepoints to the free flow of global commerce.
Established in 2002 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, PATFORSWA plays a critical role in maritime security and maritime infrastructure protection operations. It is the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States. The 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.