US Navy's 5th Fleet Patrol Ships USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) Visit Pakistan
US Navy's 5th Fleet Patrol Ships USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) Visit Pakistan

US Navy’s 5th Fleet Patrol Ships USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) Visit Pakistan

US Navy’s 5th Fleet Cyclone-class patrol ships USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) arrived in Karachi, Pakistan, for a scheduled port visit January 25. While in Karachi, the crewmembers are slated to conduct visit, board, search and seizure training with the Pakistan Navy. Squall and Whirlwind are transiting the Middle East region in support of naval operations that ensure maritime security and stability. This port visit reflects the strong relationship and cooperation between the Pakistan Navy and U.S. 5th Fleet. The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses approximately 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

“As we strengthen this partnership with Pakistan, we are able to build trust through valuable cross training and deliver a robust interdiction capability to the Pakistani commander of CTF 150,” said Lt. Cmdr. Todd Strong, commanding officer of Squall. On Jan. 18, Pakistan Navy Commodore Vaqar Muhammad assumed command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces that operates outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt illicit activities by criminal organizations, including the illegal transport of drugs, weapons and people.

“We are extremely excited to visit Pakistan as we build our relationship and sharpen our competitive edge in a very dynamic region,” said Lt. Cmdr. Martin Dineen, commanding officer of USS Whirlwind (PC 11).

Lt. Cmdr. Martin Dineen, commanding officer of USS Whirlwind (PC 11), greets a Pakistani officer after arriving in Karachi, Pakistan, for a scheduled port visit Jan. 25. Whirlwind is currently operating in the Middle East region to help ensure maritime security and stability. (Photo by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet )

The Cyclone-class patrol ships are a class of United States Navy coastal patrol boats. Most of these ships were launched between 1992 and 1994. The primary mission of these ships is coastal patrol and interdiction surveillance, an important aspect of littoral operations outlined in the Navy’s strategy, “Forward…From the Sea.” These ships also provide full mission support for U.S. Navy SEALs and other special operations forces. These ships provide the United States Naval Special Warfare Command with a fast, reliable platform that can respond to emergent requirements in a low intensity conflict environment. As of 2015, ten of the U.S. Navy’s 13 Cyclone-class patrol ships were deployed to the Persian Gulf to deal with a potential conflict with Iran.

USS Squall (PC-7) is the seventh Cyclone-class patrol ship. Squall was laid down 17 February 1993 by Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, Louisiana and launched 28 August 1993. She was commissioned by the United States Navy 4 July 1994. USS Whirlwind (PC-11) is the eleventh Cyclone-class patrol ship. Whirlwind was laid down 4 March 1994 by Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, Louisiana and launched 9 September 1994. She was commissioned 1 July 1995 in Memphis, Tennessee. The U.S. Navy has determined its planned ship retirement schedule for fiscal 2022. The list includes five Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships (PCs). Cyclone-class patrol ships USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) scheduled to be decommissioned 24 April 2022.