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U.S. Coast Guard visits Samoa
U.S. Coast Guard Harriet Lane kicks off Blue Pacific Mission in Samoa
5 MINUTE READ
February 8, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard Harriet Lane kicks off Blue Pacific Mission in Samoa

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane (WMEC 903) commenced its inaugural Blue Pacific mission trip, Sunday, with Samoa being its first international port call.  Harriet Lane and crew are working closely with local authorities to bolster Samoa’s maritime law enforcement capabilities, strengthening community connections and provide regional support.

Enhancing maritime law enforcement capabilities: The ship supported Samoa in enforcing maritime laws, combating illicit activities such as illegal fishing, drug trafficking, and smuggling. Government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Corrections Services, Maritime Division were accompanied by the crew of the Harriet Lane during its three-day shiprider engagement in Samoa’s exclusive economic zone. This collaboration will ensure the protection of marine resources, as well as the economic and social stability of Samoa and the wider Pacific region.

U.S. Coast Guard Quintet public engagement and cultural exchange. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.
U.S. Coast Guard Quintet public engagement and cultural exchange. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

The visit also prioritized community connections and engagement. A quintet from the U.S. Coast Guard Band visited St. Mary’s College and Wesley College, the Mapuifagalele Home of the Elderly and Tanumalala Prison over the course of three days as part of its cultural exchange, sharing a flavor of music from around the world while also featuring the famous Samoan song “Pitonuu Solosolo.” The band had the opportunity, Wednesday, to share a few tunes with the Royal Police Band. Both groups of musicians rehearsed together for tomorrow morning’s flag raising. The band concluded its engagement with a pop-up concert alongside the ACC Building which was open to the public.

Shiprider’s from the Ministry of Police (Maritime Division) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries depart Apia. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.
Shiprider’s from the Ministry of Police (Maritime Division) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries depart Apia. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is honored to collaborate with Samoa to enhance maritime safety and security,” said Commander Nicole Tesoniero, Harriet Lane commanding officer. “This mission builds on our longstanding dedication to ensure the safety of seafarers and the protection of maritime resources. We are committed to fostering international cooperation in the Pacific region, and together, we will overcome emerging challenges.”

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane arrives to Samoa for its inaugural Blue Pacific Mission. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane arrives to Samoa for its inaugural Blue Pacific Mission. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

“The U.S. Embassy is pleased to provide maritime assistance to Samoa through the U.S. Coast Guard,” said U.S. Embassy Apia Chargé d’Affaires Noriko Horiuchi. “Engagements like the visit of the Harriet Lane strengthens our bonds and friendship, promoting safer seas and a sustainable maritime future. As Samoa’s closest neighbor in the Blue Pacific, collaborating and sharing knowledge and expertise can heighten safety standards an enhance regional security and stability. The sharing also of different cultures through music, education, knowledge and expertise, also fosters growth and progress on both shores.”

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane crew will continue its engagement with the Government of Samoa maritime agencies, and students at the National University of Samoa, School of Maritime conducting subject matter exchanges, which will include search and rescue, responding to distress calls, and emergencies at sea.