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NEWS | Aug. 12, 2022

USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrives in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

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

The Famous-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrived in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire for a scheduled port visit, August 12.

The visit demonstrates the strengthening security cooperation relationship between the United States and Côte d’Ivoire.  While in Abidjan, the Mohawk crew will exchange with Côte d’Ivoire maritime forces, including medical response treatment, close quarters combat and casualty care, illegal contraband collection and handling, and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) demonstrations.

“Mohawk’s visit to Côte d’Ivoire demonstrates our shared commitment to safety, security, and prosperity in the region,” said Cmdr. Andrew Pate, commanding officer aboard USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913). “We are excited to experience Abidjan’s rich culture and take part in joint training to strengthen our interoperability and reinforce mutual interests in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.”

Mohawk is first U.S. ship to visit Côte d’Ivoire in three years. In July 2019, USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) made a port visit, where partner maritime forces embarked Carson City to conduct small boat logistics and maintenance, visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) drills, and medical response scenarios.

Over the last decade, the United States has increased maritime security cooperation with partners on Africa’s Atlantic coast to improve maritime domain awareness and the protection of their sovereign waters.

 “We are extremely pleased to have the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mohawk visiting Abidjan this week as part of their goodwill and presence patrol in the region.  The Mohawk’s visit is just one more example of the numerous ways in which the United States and Côte d’Ivoire are collaborating to improve security and support the economic development of the region.  When the seas are safe from illicit activity – whether illegal fishing, piracy, smuggling, or trafficking - trade can flourish,” said U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard K. Bell.

The United States and Côte d’Ivoire share a proud history of promoting peace and stability in the Southern Atlantic. Later this month, maritime forces from Côte d’Ivoire will attend the jointly led U.S. and Danish Maritime Operations Planning Workshop (MOPW), which allows mid-grade officers from African navies and coastguards to exchange operational planning experiences and plan real-world exercises. Additionally, in March, Côte d’Ivoire 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 on a West Africa patrol to demonstrate partnership with regional partners and conduct a routine presence patrol.  Since July, the Mohawk has made port calls to Senegal, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone.

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.