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NEWS | July 26, 2022

USCGC Mohawk arrives in Banjul, Gambia

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

The Famous-class medium endurance U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrived in Banjul, Gambia for a scheduled port visit, July 25, 2022.

The visit will include engagement opportunities with Gambian military, government, and community leaders, including ship tours and professional knowledge exchanges on maritime security and law enforcement.

“Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a pervasive global maritime security threat,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer aboard USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913). “International enforcement operations like the ones just completed with the Gambian Navy, the Senegalese Navy, and the U.S. Coast Guard are part of a global effort to combat illegal exploitation of the oceans fish stocks.”

This marks the first port visit by a U.S. ship in over two decades and demonstrates the strengthening security cooperation relationship between the United States and The Gambia.

“The Gambia’s coastline is important to the nation’s economy and its people. As such, it must be protected from the threat of illegal fishing. The visit of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk underscores that our partnership with The Gambia is wide-ranging and our mutual cooperation encompasses both land and sea,” says Sharon L. Cromer, U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia.

The Gambia is an important partner of the United States in promoting peace and stability in the Southern Atlantic. In March, The Gambia participated in exercise Obangame Express 2022, the largest annual maritime security exercise in Western Africa. These types of exercises strengthen partnerships and allow countries to work more closely on shared transnational maritime challenges.

The U.S. shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation on the waters surrounding the continent, because these waters are critical for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets.

Mohawk is forward-deployed to the U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) area of operations, while employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Mohawk is the 13th and last of the Famous-class cutters. It is named for the Algonquin tribe of Iroquoian Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York. Mohawk is the third cutter to bear the name. Mohawk’s parent command is U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard districts and 40 states.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability. 

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.