Responding to Senator Murray's Request, U.S. Navy to Station Patrol Ships in Puget Sound

Nov 20 2001

"Cyclone-class" Coastal Patrol ships to be placed under tactical command of 13th Coast Guard District

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Responding to her request for additional support for the Coast Guard, U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that the U.S. Navy will station two patrol ships in the Puget Sound to assist a Coast Guard fleet whose resources have been stretched thin by increased demands in recent months.

The 170-foot Cyclone-class Coastal Patrol ships will be placed under the tactical command of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District based in Seattle. The Navy will continue to staff and operate the vessels.

Since September 11, Coast Guard units have been called upon to provide additional force protection to the Naval presence in the Puget Sound region. Because the Coast Guard is being required to focus almost exclusively on emergency search & rescue, port security, anti-terrorism and force protection, other maritime law enforcement efforts including drug interdiction, migrant interdiction and fisheries enforcement patrols have been reduced.

On October 5, Senator Murray wrote to the Commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet to ask the Navy to provide assets that would "allow the Coast Guard to once again execute all of its very critical missions while ensuring that Naval force protection is maintained."

Sen. Murray received a response today from Adm. Tom Fargo, Commander of the Pacific Fleet, informing her that the Navy had obtained approval from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to place two ships under the command of the Seattle-based 13th Coast Guard District Command.

"This is extremely good news for the safety and security of the Puget Sound," said Sen. Murray. "The men and women of the Coast Guard have been heroic in their efforts to take on a host of new responsibilities. I am pleased that the Navy has agreed to help protect our waterways and our coastline."