SAIPAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam has reported a series of significant maritime activity Dec. 4-8, 2023, highlighting the dedication and effectiveness of its Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) in Saipan and its collaborative efforts with various teams and agencies.
“Last week’s activities reflect the unwavering commitment and exceptional skills of our team here at the Marine Safety Detachment,” stated Lt. Justin Miller, MSD supervisor. “Our collaborative efforts, innovative approaches, and rigorous safety measures ensure the integrity of maritime operations and strengthen our bonds with the community and stakeholders in the Northern Mariana Islands. These successes are a testament to our ongoing dedication to safeguarding our waters and supporting the vital maritime industry in this region.”
Innovative Industry Day Spearheaded by CWO Anderson
Chief Warrant Officer Anderson led the first in-person Industry Day, focusing on small passenger vessel (SPV) fleet operators. Over 20 participants joined the event, a remarkable turnout for Saipan. The event took a creative turn as the team conducted it aboard one of Cabras’ launch boats. Anderson provided hands-on training, enhancing understanding of standard SPV inspections and critical safety systems. The session was highly successful, with operators expressing their appreciation and desire for more such interactive sessions.
Collaborative MASFO operation at the Port of Saipan
In a collaborative effort, MSD, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Prevention, and Marine Safety and Security Team (MSST) Los Angeles/Long Beach conducted a three-day Maritime Advanced Safety and Fiscal Operations (MASFO) at the Port of Saipan with CNMI Customs and Biosecurity and port personnel. This training was educational and productive, resulting in the inspection of 210 containers. The responsible party took immediate corrective actions for three deficient containers, and the team placed one container found to have pests on a customs hold.
Joint recreational boat safety examinations with local DPS
MSST Los Angeles/Long Beach partnered with the local Department of Public Safety (DPS) Boating Safety to conduct recreational boat safety examinations. A total of 25 safety boarding exams were carried out, including seven in the neighboring port of Tinian. The MSST team was treated to a traditional Chamorro lunch by DPS, showcasing the strong community ties and local support.
First detention by MSD Saipan in several years
During a Port State Control (PSC-B) examination aboard a 412-foot cement carrier by MSD and Sector Prevention visitors, including Lt. Gaylord Amores, CWO Brian Anderson, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Smits, the team achieved a significant milestone. The crew discovered several deficiencies, including a major issue with a quick closing fuel valve that was gagged open. This action led to the first detention by MSD Saipan in years, a significant event in maritime safety and prevention, recognized and commended by the U.S. Coast Guard 14th District and higher authorities.
“Our team continues to demonstrate unwavering dedication and excellence during a notably busy week, reinforcing the vital role of port operations in the Northern Mariana Islands as a cornerstone for regional maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship,” said Miller.
In a significant collaboration, Chief Warrant Officer Henry Wong and Lt. Justin Miller boarded the USNS Watkins to engage in a strategic meeting concerning an upcoming exercise involving six Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessels. This meeting marked a key moment of interaction and planning with prominent figures from the MSC team, including MSC Commodore U.S. Navy Capt. Steven Wasson and Director of Ship Management Thomas Kiss. The engagement also included various operations and mission support personnel from the United States.
Wong, serving as the local Alternate Compliance Program (ACP) manager, played a crucial role in these discussions, given that the involved vessels are enrolled in the ACP program. Miller represented MSD Saipan at this gathering. The meeting proved to be highly productive, paving the way for enhanced cooperation and successful execution of the forthcoming exercise. This interaction underscores the commitment of the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam in fostering strong relationships with key maritime partners and in contributing to the operational readiness and success of collaborative maritime exercises.
The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team focuses on maritime safety, security, and stewardship in Oceania. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and over 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities.
This work, U.S. Coast Guard celebrates week of significant maritime activity in Saipan, by CWO2 Sara Muir, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.