GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — The Reliance-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Decisive (WMEC 629) conducted at sea engagements with the navy of Guatemala in the territorial seas of Guatemala in late October.
“It was a pleasure working with members from Guatemalan naval units Gucumatz (BH 656) and Lp-Antares in October while conducting law enforcement and search and rescue exercise,” said Cmdr. John Mcwhite, commanding officer of Decisive. “Engagements like these are critical to the US Coast Guard’s ability to integrate and synchronize with partner nations to bolster maritime safety and security.”
On October 25 and 26, the crews conducted a no-contact professional exchange. With Spanish interpreters’ assistance and radio traffic and loud hailers, Decisive’s team conducted a pursuit tactics demonstration, interdiction and boarding procedures review, and the teams ran search and rescue exercises. All crews shared best practices.
“Our joint crews developed personal relations, enhanced team cohesion, and reinforced the importance of communication. Ultimately, these engagements advance US and Guatemalan enduring interests to disrupt transnational organized crime networks operating at sea,” said Mcwhite.
The US Coast Guard has a good relationship with Guatemala. The United States established diplomatic relations with Guatemala in 1849, following Guatemala’s independence from Spain. One of the primary US policy objectives with Guatemala includes protecting US citizens and the homeland while dismantling transnational criminal organizations and increasing citizen security in Guatemala. Opportunities for partnership and maritime security help deliver on this goal.
The US Coast Guard conducts routine deployments in the Southern Command area of responsibility, works alongside partners, builds maritime domain awareness, and shares best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards. Headquartered in Miami, the Southern Command’s mission is to deter aggression, defeat threats, rapidly respond to crises, and build regional capacity. These efforts rely on working with our allies, partner nations, and US government team to enhance security and defend the US homeland and our national interests.
Decisive operates under the US Atlantic Area command. Based in Portsmouth, Virginia, US Coast Guard Atlantic Area oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. Also, they allocate ships to deploy to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to combat transnational organized crime and illicit maritime activity.
Decisive is one of 11 active Reliance-class cutters entering service in the 1960s. Homeported in Pensacola, Florida, the crew typically delays for more than half the year at six to eight-week intervals in the Caribbean, Straits of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific. Decisive’s primary evolutions include counter-drug patrols, ensuring the safety of life at sea and migrant interdiction, and national security and search and rescue operations.