Jan 08, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and the United States of America (USA) Coast Guard are expected to commence their first joint service operation tomorrow to combat illegal fishing activities in local waters.
According to a GDF press release, on Saturday, the GDF and US Coast Guard will engage in their first series of activities, stemming from the Shiprider Agreement that was signed last September by the two countries.
The Shiprider Agreement was signed by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess, during the official’s highly publicized visit last year. The agreement allows the US Coast Guard to patrol local waters along with the GDF coast guard to combat illicit activities.
The US Coast Guard will be using its Cutter Stone vessel, one of its newest, to conduct the joint service patrol.
On December 28, 2020, the US flagship departed Pascagoula, Mississippi, for a multi-month operation in the South Atlantic to help counter illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, while strengthening relationships for maritime sovereignty and security throughout the region.
The brand new Legend-class national security cutter, will provide a presence and support national security objectives throughout the Atlantic.
Kaieteur News had reported, based on a statement from the US Coast Guard, the multi-month patrol is the cutter’s initial shakedown cruise, following its delivery in November 2020.
The release had also stated that: “This is the service’s first patrol to South America in recent memory, engaging partners including Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Portugal. The cutter also embarked an observer from the Portuguese navy for the operation’s duration.”
The visit will come as a major border case is engaging the attention of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The case centers on claims by neighbouring Venezuela on large parts of Essequibo, Guyana’s gold rich country, and areas offshore Guyana where ExxonMobil is currently producing oil for Guyana.
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