The U.S. Coast Guard, along with the U.S. Navy, Mexican Navy (SEMAR) and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) participated in the North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI) exercise off the coast of Manzanillo, Mexico March 27-31.
First instituted in 2008, NAMSI is an interagency and tri-lateral forum among U.S., Mexican and Canadian maritime commands intended to develop and refine maritime operations, as well as synchronize training and operational interoperability amongst forces of the three nations. The three participating nations actively seek opportunities to operate together and strengthen their cohesive approach to enhance regional maritime security in North America.
The U.S. Coast Guard District 11 and SEMAR collaborate extensively under NAMSI, conducting an average of four multinational passing exercises each year. The NAMSI Pacific Exercise (PACEX) 2023 is a full-scale Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) based exercise that facilitates MLE operations with a SAR nexus built in. The exercise is intended to strengthen the crew’s knowledge in handling various situations and offers unique training scenarios like communication drills or maneuvering exercises.
“This exercise provides U.S., Mexico and Canada the opportunity to develop and refine our training and operations as partner nations,” said Rear Adm. Andrew Sugimoto, commander, U.S. Coast Guard District 11. “We take pride in our ability to strengthen partnerships and interoperability among the nations’ sea services.”
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active and the U.S. Navy Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Savannah (LCS 28), joined the SEMAR ship ARM Hidalgo and the RCN ship HMCS Edmonton, off the coast of Manzanillo in support of the NAMSI PACEX 2023. The operational units were supported by aviation assets from the U.S. Coast Guard and SEMAR, as well as the respective command centers in U.S. Coast Guard District 11, U.S. Navy 3rd fleet, SEMAR Tenth Naval Region and SEMAR headquarters.
The crews of Active and U.S. Coast Guard cutter Benjamin Bottoms also deployed in support of Operation GREEN FLASH (OGF). OGF is the operationalization of NAMSI procedures leveraging U.S., Canadian, and Mexican maritime forces, with the intent of disrupting transnational criminal organization activity that occurs in the shared maritime environment. U.S. Coast Guard District 11 organizes annual iterations of OGF which strengthens the relationship between the major stakeholders under NAMSI. Historically, there have been two iterations of OGF a year, averaging 30 days each.
“The cutter Active’s crew was excited to conduct this mission alongside our partners given its importance for the safety and security of the shared maritime environment,” said Cmdr. Brian Tesson, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active. “The partnerships between the U.S., Mexico and Canada strengthened our overall maritime security posture while reinforcing the mutual esprit de corps between our services.”