By USCG Petty Officer 3rd Class Sydney Phoenix
The Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) transited out of the Mediterranean Sea, concluding the crew’s recent operations in U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet’s area of responsibility, May 24, 2021.
Hamilton entered the Mediterranean Sea on April 15, 2021 and the Black Sea on April 27, 2021 in support of NATO Allies and partners. Hamilton was the first U.S. Coast Guard Cutter to visit the Black Sea since 2008. The last U.S. Coast Guard Cutter to visit the Black Sea was USCGC Dallas (WHEC 716) and sailed to the Black Sea twice, in 2008 and 1995.
Since leaving the Black Sea on May 14, 2021, Hamilton’s crew visited Valletta, Malta and conducted engagements at sea with the Armed Forces of Malta. They also conducted a brief logistics stop in Rota, Spain on May 23, 2021.
“By operating with Sixth Fleet, we expand the Coast Guard’s global reach and advance our Nation’s Tri-Service Maritime Strategy,” said Capt. Timothy Cronin, commanding officer of USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753). “This deployment also reinforced our commitment to freedom of navigation in international waters while building capacity and partnerships with nations that have shared interests and threats in the maritime domain.”
After departing Charleston, South Carolina, on February 28, 2021 the crew of Hamilton stopped in Puerto Rico and then headed toward Rota, Spain with two Sentinel-class fast response cutters, USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and USCGC Robert Goldman. After escorting the fast response cutters and departing Spain, Hamilton then visited Italy, Georgia, Ukraine, and Malta. The crew conducted various operational exercises with the maritime components of each country as well as Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria.
“The relationships we build are fundamental for establishing maritime safety and security worldwide” said Lt. Cmdr. Taylor Kellogg, operations officer of USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753). “Working together with our NATO Allies and partners we advance the rule of law on the sea ensuring free and open access to the maritime domain.”
The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard operate forward, from the littoral to the open ocean, ensuring stability and open sea lanes across all maritime domains. U.S. Coast Guard operations in U.S. Sixth Fleet demonstrate our commitment, flexibility, and capability to operate and address security concerns throughout Europe and Africa.
The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards.
Hamilton is the fourth national security cutter and is the fifth named for the father of the U.S. Coast Guard – Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and advocate for the creation of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.
The U.S. Coast Guard remains operational during COVID-19, following all COVID-19 safety precautions and regulations.
U.S. Sixth 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 and security and stability in Europe and Africa.