U.S. Navy Story by Littoral Combat Group One Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) – Sailors assigned to USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) conducted a fisheries patrol exercise with the U.S. Coast Guard and Ecuadorian naval assets in the Pacific Ocean on Nov. 22, 2018.
The ship, along with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) from Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 16, coordinated with Ecuadorian navy assets to execute the counter illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing exercise.
The purpose of the exercise is to build proficiencies in detecting and deterring IUU fishing in the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility and to support internationally recognized fisheries laws and the suppression of illicit activities.
“Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is a top international priority,” said Cmdr. Jamie Hopkins, the commanding officer of USS Wayne E. Meyer. “It’s a worldwide problem estimated to cost the global fishing industry billions of dollars a year.”
The range and versatility of U.S. Navy assets allow the embarked U.S. Coast Guard LEDET and partner nations to quickly identify and respond to illicit maritime activities.
“I am grateful each time that we get to work with the U.S. Navy and regional partners,” said Lt. j.g. Mike Brooks, the deployable team leader of the embarked U.S. Coast Guard LEDET. “It is a mission with deep purpose and relevance. It allows us to build capacity and interoperability so we can assist our partners with enforcing fisheries laws and protect their economy in the Eastern Pacific. A large number of states depend on fisheries for food security and export income, and we help to preserve both.”
The USS Wayne E. Meyer is operated by more than 300 crew members and is based out of San Diego. The ship is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of USSOUTHCOM’s Enduring Promise Initiative that reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership, and solidarity with the Americas.