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NEWS | Aug. 1, 2022

USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrives in Freetown, Sierra Leone

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

The Famous-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone for a scheduled port visit, July 30, 2022.

During the visit, Mohawk will host ship tours for Sierra Leonean government and military leaders as well as participate in local discussions about the impact of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing with Tombo fishing community members, which will include a film screening by award-winning Sierra Leonean documentarian Lansana Mansaray.

“My crew and I are excited to be in Freetown,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer of Mohawk. “One of our primary objectives during this deployment is to enhance partner nations’ capacity to operate effectively in the maritime domain and promote targeted, effective, intelligence-driven enforcement operations.”

The United States and Sierra Leone have a proud history of working together to promote peace, stability, and security in Africa. Following this port visit, Mohawk will embed a liaison officer in Sierra Leone’s Joint Maritime Committee’s (JMC) Joint Operations Center (JOC) to support coordination for follow-on at sea operations.

“The U.S. Mission in Sierra Leone is proud to welcome the USCGC Mohawk,” said Lt. Col. Hans Hoffman, U.S. Defense Attaché to U.S Embassy Freetown. “Maritime security is a priority issue for both of our countries. This partnership allows the United States to support the Sierra Leone Maritime Wing in their vital operations patrolling Sierra Leone’s sovereign waters.”

In March, Sierra Leone 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. 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.