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News Around the Fleet

News | Aug. 31, 2021

USS Jackson completes OMSI with USCG

By Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

he U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard concluded a joint mission in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative from July 29 to August 30, 2021.

The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6), hosted an embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, and members from Coast Guard District 14. The combined crew completed maritime law enforcement operations in support of international law and the most recent Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention, protecting the United States and Pacific Island Nations’ resource security and sovereignty. OMSI is a Secretary of Defense program that leverages Department of Defense assets transiting the region to extend the reach of Coast Guard law enforcement officers, improving maritime security and maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting regional stability and partnerships.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how the crew and our aviation detachment, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, integrated with the Coast Guard team to complete the mission,” said Cmdr. Stacy Wuthier, Jackson’s commanding officer. “Our teamwork contributed to the commitment to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, and there’s no better demonstration of that than our combined U.S. Naval operations.”

The Navy-Coast Guard team, including an embarked MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from HSC-23, conducted 22 external visual inspections of fishing vessels across three separate jurisdictional areas – the high seas, and the exclusive economic zones of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. The observation reports resulted in two field information reports for suspicious activity, and demonstrated U.S. commitment to regulating highly migratory species fishing areas in partnership with our allies in the region.

“This mission really strengthened our relationship with the Coast Guard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Naomi Sullivan, Jackson’s operations officer. “With their law enforcement detachment embarked we were able to leverage our respective strengths to safely and efficiently conduct patrols.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for patrolling the waters around the numerous United States territorial islands and reefs throughout the region. Each of these features have territorial waters stretching out to 12 miles from shore. Beyond that, stretching out to 200 nautical miles, is an exclusive economic zone, an area defined by international law as being under the exclusive rights of that nation to explore and extract marine resources. Oceania contains 43 percent, or approximately 1.3 million square miles, of the United States' EEZ.

Jackson is deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.