Story by PO2 Curtis Spencer on 06/14/2017
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) and the "Scorpions" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 received a Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation during a ceremony held in San Diego aboard Spruance, June 13.
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Matthew J. Gimple, chief of staff at Commander, 11th Coast Guard District, presented the award on behalf of Commander, 14th Coast Guard District, which is located in Honolulu.
"It is remarkable to be standing on this ship with a crew who are prepared for anything," said Gimple. "That translates to good partnerships with our partner nations and a continuing relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy have worked together at war and at peace from the very origins of our country. We continue to demonstrate the good things that come out of that."
Spruance and HSM 49 received the award for their support of a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team Detachment 108, which embarked the ship in support of the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) during Spruance and HSM 49's recent deployment. OMSI is a cooperative service strategy designed to increase overall theater security in Oceania through maritime enforcement of transitional crime and participation in partnership.
"This was a complete team effort," said Cmdr. Robert Kimnach, commanding officer of HSM 49. "Everyone involved sought out and conquered challenges throughout the evolution. It was rewarding to be a part of this amazing team."
The team was tasked with enforcement of Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission regulations as well as bilateral enforcement of fishery regulations inside Federated States of Micronesia and Palau waters. The patrols led to 20 successful boarding operations, during which five significant violations were detected.
"Without our participation in OMSI, there would be a great danger to the regional economy," Cmdr. Josh Menzel, commanding officer of USS Spruance. "Our patrols directly aided and benefited the fisheries, which are a large part of the local economy in Oceania."
"The cohesive operation greatly strengthened cooperation between the U.S. Navy, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau authorities," according to the citation from U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins, commander, 14th district Coast Guard. "In addition, the team fostered foreign relations and improved strategic partnerships during OMSI by providing a compelling maritime authority and a jurisdiction brief with a hands-on boarding demonstration to Tongan military and customs personnel."
"Every part of the team was prepared and ready prior to the exercise," said Spruance Command Master Chief Raul M. Delacruz. "The preparedness and the determined attitudes of the crew directly lead to success during all facets of the mission."
Spruance and HSM 49 are homeported in San Diego and Coronado, California, respectively, and are part of U.S. 3rd Fleet. U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
For more information on USS Spruance (DDG 111), visit: www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg111/Pages/default.aspx
For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.