US Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk visits Ghana
USCGC Mohawk, a famed US Coast Guard medium-class endurance cutter, has arrived in Tema, Ghana, for a scheduled port call after similar port calls in other countries in the region.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs said the ship arrived in Ghana Aug. 23 and the visit will include opportunities for engagement with Ghanaian military and government leaders, including ship tours and a reception at edge of the Mohawk.
“We look forward to continuing to strengthen our common interests in security cooperation,” said Commander Andrew Pate, commanding officer aboard USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913). “We are stronger when we work together to address common transnational maritime challenges in the region.”
“Ghana continues to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to regional security. We are very proud of the cooperative security partnership we enjoy,” said Lieutenant Commander Michael Vallianos, Acting Chief of CSO at the U.S. Embassy in Accra. “We look forward to increasing bilateral and regional engagements such as the Mohawk visit, as Ghana continues to export stability across the region.”
This month, Ghana also hosted the Maritime Operations Planning Workshop (MOPW) led by the United States and Denmark in Accra. The MOPW allows junior officers from the African navies and coastguards to exchange operational planning experiences and collaborate on real-world operations.
In March, Ghana participated in Exercise Obangame Express 2022, the largest annual maritime security exercise in West Africa.
At the beginning of August, the Mohawks traveled to Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The ship arrived in Lagos, Nigeria on August 18 and was expected to take part in military exercises and training and engage with the Nigerian Navy.
“Maritime security is critical to regional security and stability,” Pate said during the Nigerian visit. “Mohawk’s visit is an opportunity to work together on our common goals and to reiterate our commitment to improving maritime security, stability and prosperity for our allies and partners.
Nigeria has the largest navy in the Gulf of Guinea region and is essential to security and stability in Africa. In March, Nigeria participated in Exercise Obangame Express 2022. Next year Nigeria will host Exercise Obangame Express 2023 in Lagos.
Mohawk’s visit also builds on last year’s visit to the ship by USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4). In August 2021, Hershel “Woody” Williams participated in a maritime interoperability planning event with Nigerian Navy leaders, followed by a three-day at-sea training exercise with Nigerian offshore patrol vessels, the Spanish Navy and members of the Ghana Special Boat Squadron (SBS).
During the visit, the crew played sports with members of the Nigerian Navy and volunteered to paint the Achakpo Ajegunle Lagos State Model Nursery and Primary School, while leaders of the United States Navy met with the Chief of Operations of the Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC), Commodore Daupreye Franklin Matthew, to discuss their shared commitment to a peaceful and well-guarded Gulf of Guinea.
“The United States shares a common interest with African partner nations in ensuring safety, security, and freedom of navigation in the waters surrounding the continent, as these waters are critical to Africa’s prosperity and access. to global markets,” the US Naval Forces Africa said.
Mohawk is the 13th and last of the Famous class cutters. It is named after the Algonquin tribe of Iroquois Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York. Mohawk is the third cutter to bear this name. Mohawk’s parent command is the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Zone.