Monday, November 29, 2010

Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island conducts a training exercise Friday with Dominican Navy Midshipmen off the coast of Catuano Dominican Repbulic

San Juan November 29, 2010 - Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island and three Dominican Navy vessels conducted a training exercise Friday off the coast of Catuano, Dominican Republic.

The Kodiak Island rendezvoused with the Dominican Republic Navy vessels GC-109 Orion, PA-301 Almirante Didiez Burgos and PM-204 Capotillo as part of their Autumn Cruise to train second and third-year midshipmen from the Dominican Republic Naval Academy.

"This U.S. Coast Guard and Dominican Republic Navy training engagement allowed us to share best practices between our services, said Lt. Cmdr. Rodrigo Rojas, Sector San Juan chief of law enforcement. “The Caribbean is the Coast Guard's busiest operating area. It is important to work collectively with our international partners, as they often may be our first responders to search and rescue cases or in countering illicit drug and migrant trafficking events.”

During the training evolution, the Kodiak Island hosted 71 Dominican Republic Naval Academy midshipmen onboard and provided them with overviews on existing U.S. and Dominican Bilateral agreements to include shiprider, maritime law enforcement, counter-drug and search and rescue operations in the Mona Passage and the Caribbean. The discussions were followed by the practical application of fire fighting techniques and equipment aboard a patrol boat, and the use of biometrics technology during migrant interdictions.

“The Kodiak Island is honored to have been invited to Dominican territorial waters to host, train and interact with the countries naval midshipmen,” said Lt. Matthew Rooney, Kodiak Island commanding officer. “We look forward to future training events that will further strengthen the existing strong ties and joint interoperability efforts between our services.”

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter also took part in this international engagement by providing the Dominican midshipmen and Dominican naval crews with two live search and rescue demonstrations consisting of the deployment of a rescue swimmer and hoist operations with a rescue basket.

Coast Guard and Dominican Republic authorities regularly share information and respond jointly to Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement cases off Dominican Republic shores.

Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.


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