USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) was decommissioned during a ceremony aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Monday.
Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presided over the ceremony.
“USCGC Baranof’s exemplary service to our nation is a testament to both the Island-class platform and the crews that have manned Baranof over the past 34 years,” said Lunday. “Whether it was conducting law enforcement and search and rescue in the Caribbean, or deploying to the present-day homeport of Bahrain to support U.S. Central Command, those that have manned Baranof have continually met the needs of America.”
Baranof was commissioned into service on May 20, 1988 at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach in Miami. The 18th of 49 Island-class patrol boats, Baranof received orders to the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002. Shortly after their arrival in Bahrain, Baranof’s crew was underway conducting maritime interdiction operations in the North Arabian Gulf.
Baranof was replaced by the USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147), which arrived at NSA Bahrain on Aug. 23, 2022. As part of the Coast Guard’s fast response cutter program, the service is acquiring 65 Sentinel-class fast response cutters, with six of those assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia.
PATFORSWA, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States, oversees the cutters in Bahrain. The ships are forward deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet to help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East. The 154-foot long vessels feature advanced communications systems, and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.
PATFORSWA, which is operationally attached to Fifth Fleet’s Commander Task Force 55, is composed of six FRCs, shoreside mission support personnel and a maritime engagement team. The unit plays a crucial role in maritime security, maritime infrastructure protection, and regional theater security cooperation. The unit also supports other U.S. Coast Guard deployable specialized forces operating throughout the Middle Eastern region.