US to deploy coast guard fast response cutters in response to Chinese ‘malign actions’

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The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is homeporting Sentinel-class cutters, also known as Fast Response Cutter in the Western Pacific as part of US response to counter Chinese “destabilizing and malign actions”.

“The People’s Republic of China’s illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of other countries in the Indo-Pacific, threatens our sovereignty, as well as the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors and endangers regional stability.  Efforts of the United States Government, including the United States Coast Guard (USCG) are critical to countering these destabilizing and malign actions,” US National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien said in a statement.

O’Brien said noted that the USCG “continues to modernize and enhance the capabilities of its fleet of major cutters, which play a prominent role in protecting our vital national interests, and where appropriate, those of our partners in the region.”

“To that end, the USCG is strategically homeporting significantly enhanced Fast Response Cutters, built in a proven Louisiana-based shipyard, in the western Pacific.  The new generation of Fast Response Cutters will conduct maritime security missions, such as fisheries patrols, enhance maritime domain awareness and enforcement efforts in collaboration with regional partners who have limited offshore surveillance and enforcement capacity, and ensure freedom of navigation,” he said.

“Enhancing the presence of the USCG in the Indo-Pacific ensures the United States will remain the maritime partner of choice in the region,” he added.

He also said that “in Fiscal Year 2021, the USCG plans to evaluate the feasibility of basing Fast Response Cutters in American Samoa.  If the survey is favorable, the United States could further expand its presence in the South Pacific.”