USA: Commander, Task Force 55 Ship Visits Iraq Strengthening Partnership


A Commander, Task Force (CTF) 55 ship conducted the first port visit since the end of Operation New Dawn, and the last port visit of 2011 in Umm Qasr, Iraq, Dec. 21.

Island-Class Patrol Boat USCGC Adak (WPB-1333), assigned to CTF 55, was the first U.S. military ship to visit Iraq following the official end of the war, as a theater security cooperation engagement between the two countries.

U.S. Coast Guard and Navy patrol ships, assigned to CTF 55, participated in monthly port visits to Iraq throughout 2011, to strengthen professional working relationships, maintain open lines of communication and foster a strong sense of partnership between the two nations.

The visit provided an opportunity for U.S. Coast Guardsmen to provide training to their Iraqi counterparts on voyage planning, navigation and towing. Iraqi Navy sailors toured Adak, then received hands-on training in towing and navigation from Adak’s crew. Coast Guardsmen also had the opportunity to visit Iraqi patrol boats and interact with their crews.

“I am encouraged to see continued engagements between our maritime forces,” says Lt. Shawn Deweese, commanding officer of Adak. “Adak was part of the strategic withdrawal of Coast Guard training and advisory personnel from Iraq in August of this year. We are pleased to be afforded the opportunity to return and provide training as maritime professionals and continue promoting maritime cooperation between our countries.”

Military-to-military engagements are designed to enhance levels of cooperation and interoperability, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, and promote long-term regional stability and security.

“I am extremely proud of Adak’s success during their latest Umm Qasar, Iraq port visit,” said USCG Captain Cameron Naron, commodore, Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. “Their thorough preparation, professionalism, and flexibility contributed significantly to continued successful military-to-military cooperation with the Iraqi Navy.”

Through theater security cooperation engagements, U.S. maritime forces continue to strengthen the partnership with the Iraqi Navy, while assisting both forces to build capability, collaboration, and professionalism.

Adak is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Naval Today Staff , December 25, 2011