U.S. Coast Guard units participate in three-day North American Maritime Security Initiative exercise

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMSL 630) sails near Puerto Chiapas, Mexico, while participating in a three-day North American Maritime Security Initiative exercise, March 1, 2020. NAMSI is a tri-national effort by forces of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to improve mutual capacity for operational coordination. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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The Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMEC 630) returned home to Astoria Sunday following a 69-day Eastern Pacific counterdrug deployment.

The crew patrolled international waters off the coast of Mexico to disrupt the flow of illicit narcotics and migrant smuggling in the region.

Alert’s crew also participated in the North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI) Pacific Exercise in and around Puerto Chiapas, Mexico.

NAMSI is a tri-national effort by forces of the United States, Canada and Mexico to improve mutual capacity for operational coordination. The three-day exercise focused on enhancing information sharing and integrating capabilities of Canadian, U.S. and Mexican maritime forces during at-sea counterdrug interdiction operations.

“It was a great experience to participate in and be a part of such a culturally diverse operational exercise,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Cristina Hickey, a Spanish translator and Alert crewmember. “I thoroughly enjoyed conversing in Spanish with my foreign counterparts and learning more about their missions.”

Crews from the Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Bottoms, Pacific Strike Team, Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, Pacific Area/D11 command center and Joint Interagency Task Force South also participated in the exercise alongside Canadian and Mexican maritime participants.

CoastGuard

An Air Station Sacramento aircrew aboard a C27 and a member of the Mexico navy participate three-day North American Maritime Security Initiative exercise in and around Puerto Chiapas, Mexico, March 3, 2020. The aircrew Lt. j. g. Jake Rath (left/co-pilot), a member of the Mexico navy (center left), Chief Petty Officer Erick Wilder (center right), and Lt Jon Egezeino (right/pilot), were one of several Coast Guard units participating in the NAMSI exercise, a tri-national effort by forces of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to improve mutual capacity for operational coordination. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

"I’m proud of the hard work that our crew put into our Eastern Pacific patrol,” said Cdr. Tyson Scofield, Alert’s commanding officer. “I am especially proud of the professionalism that the crew showed during our joint exercises with the Canadian and Mexican navies. They displayed a high level of skill while demonstrating counter narcotics interdiction techniques and during the shipboard launch and recovering of a Mexican helicopter for the first time.

CoastGuard

Members from the Mexican navy and a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento aircrew check look at Mexican navy Beechcraft T-6C+ trainer aircraft at Base Aeronaval La Paz, La Paz International Airport, La Paz, Mexico, while in the region participating in a North American Maritime Security Initiative exercise, March 3, 2020. NAMSI is a tri-national effort by forces of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to improve mutual capacity for operational coordination. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Logan Schindler.

"Most importantly, our crew created personal and professional relationships with their North American peers, which will help to counter the flow of illegal narcotics into all of our countries.”

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