SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE –
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC 910) completed a series of quadrilateral engagement and exercises with the São Tomé and Príncipe Coast Guard and the Portuguese and Brazilian navies during a scheduled port visit to São Tomé, April 1-5, 2019.
The four nations conducted multiple professional engagements including classroom and hands-on training on law enforcement, mission planning, operations, and engineering maintenance. Thetis also hosted a barbeque to enhance the relationship between the partner nations.
“The opportunity my crew and I had to visit São Tomé and Principe was great to help build and strengthen the relationship between our countries,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Randall Chong, commanding officer of Thetis. “We were able to interact with the people and learn about different cultures. We also learned new techniques from our partners while conducting quadrilateral engagements this week.”
The recent Africa Partnership Station exercise Obangame Express 2019 was the first time a USCGC has operated in the U.S. 6th Fleet maritime environment since 2011. By participating in exercises with African partners such as Sao Tome and Principe, Thetis crew members can pass along as well as learn valuable training tools and techniques with their maritime counterparts.
“When it comes to the maritime domain throughout the world, partnerships are vitally important,” said Chong. “Being able to conduct joint exercises with our maritime partners along the West African Coast helps to the continuous fortifying of those relationships.”
The U.S. Coast Guard is the lead United States agency for at-sea enforcement of living marine resource laws and is the only U.S. agency with the infrastructure and authority to project a law enforcement presence throughout more than 1.5 million square miles of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zones and in key areas on the high seas. Conducting engagements with partner nations allows for mutually beneficial training to assist in these efforts, both at home and abroad.
Thetis is a 270-foot Famous-Class Medium-Endurance Cutter homeported in Key West, Florida, specializing in maritime law enforcement operations, specifically counter-narcotics and alien migrant smuggling, and search and rescue operations.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.