Fijian shiprider joins Coast Guard aircrew on patrol

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Originally Posted by Diana Sherbs, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West

An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew and Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi, a Fijian shipriider, return from a patrol over the Fijian islands, Dec. 8, 2018. The Hercules was supporting a Fijian navy patrol boat during a law enforcement operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew and Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi, a Fijian shipriider, return from a patrol over the Fijian islands, Dec. 8, 2018. The Hercules was supporting a Fijian navy patrol boat during a law enforcement operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

Almost a month after a bilateral shiprider agreement was signed by Michael Goldman, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Suva, and Fiji’s Minister of Defense Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, a Fijian navy shiprider flew with a Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew over the Fijian Islands, Dec. 8, 2018.

The agreement, signed Nov. 12, 2018, allows Fijian officials to board United States’ assets and conduct law enforcement from them in Fiji’s territorial waters, and allows both nations to pursue common causes such as fisheries protection.

Fisheries are an important renewable source of food and income to many Pacific nations and it is in both Fiji and the United State’s interests to protect those resources from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The agreement allows both nations to cooperate toward common goals and regional stability.

Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi looks out from an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules over the Fijian Islands, Dec. 8, 2018. The Hercules aircrew was providing support for a Fijian navy patrol boat during law enforcement operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi looks out from an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules over the Fijian Islands, Dec. 8, 2018. The Hercules aircrew was providing support for a Fijian navy patrol boat during law enforcement operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

“What we were tasked to do is to make sure we can conduct interoperable missions with our Fijian partners,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Edward Ahlstrand, the pilot of the Hercules. “We took aboard a Fijian officer, who is a shiprider, to conduct law enforcement here in the Fijian EEZ [exclusive economic zone]. We met up and provided overhead cover for one of their enforcement patrol boats, established communications with them and were able to show we can work together.”

Earlier in the week, Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi, a navigation officer, was welcomed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) as the first Fijian shiprider to board a Coast Guard asset. Enesi was also the shiprider on the Hercules.

“I think the air ride today in the C-130 was really awesome.” said Enesi. “I had a good experience. Just asking the crew about the asset itself, its low cost as they mentioned, there’s a lot of endurance and it can travel a great distance. It’s really helpful in terms of search and rescue. It’s easy to call the C-130 before deploying our patrol boats.”

While the Hercules was on patrol some of the Munro’s crew were at the Lami Town beach park participating in a beach clean up project. They cleaned up the beach and got to know the community.

“It was awesome getting to talk to the people,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Carli Carnes, an electrician’s mate on the Munro. “I love interacting with the community here. It was a blast.”

Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi, a navigation officer, and an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew fly over the Fijian islands, Dec. 8, 2018. Enesi was acting as a shiprider for the Fiji government during a joint law enforcement operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

Fijian navy Sub-Lt. Opeti Enesi, a navigation officer, and an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew fly over the Fijian islands, Dec. 8, 2018. Enesi was acting as a shiprider for the Fiji government during a joint law enforcement operation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West.

Their fellow shipmates on the Munro gave tours to the public and media. The Munro is one of the Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutters and it is the first time one has been in this region of the Pacific. This is the Munro’s first operational patrol.

Prior to arriving in Fiji the Munro visited the Solomon Islands and held a rededication ceremony at a memorial to their cutter’s namesake, Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro. Munro gave his life during the Battle of Guadalcanal and is the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient.

 


Leave a Comment




We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at http://www.uscg.mil/global/mail/

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/global/disclaim.asp

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.