The commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, an Alameda-based unit that oversees U.S. Coast Guard activities from the U.S. western states to Asia and from the Arctic to Antarctica, hosted an annual forum summit with coast guard counterparts from five countries Tuesday through Thursday.
During this year’s North Pacific Coast Guard Forum Summit, forum members gathered virtually over the course of three days to discuss topics such as challenges in the North Pacific, the need for coordinated responses to those challenges, and Japan Coast Guard’s best practices and lessons learned while supporting the Tokyo Olympics.
The North Pacific Coast Guard Forum formed in 2000, and it comprises the coast guard and maritime law enforcement agencies of Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States. Its six main areas of focus are combating illegal trafficking, combined operations, emergency response, fisheries enforcement, information exchange, and maritime security. A non-binding memorandum of cooperation all participating nations signed governs it.
“I am thrilled that coast guard leaders from six nations with common maritime interests made time to come together for three days to discuss our countries’ shared challenges in the North Pacific region,” said Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area and U.S. Coast Guard executive agent for the forum. “The forum presents us the invaluable opportunity to communicate best practices, learn from each other and share information on myriad topics including search and rescue, counterdrug, pollution response, illicit trafficking, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, among others.”
By the conclusion of the summit, forum members prepared a renewed memorandum of cooperation for signature by the heads of the delegation and completed many of the final plans for this year’s multi-mission multilateral exercise, which the Canadian Coast Guard plans to host virtually in October.
On a rotating basis, each forum nation hosts two annual weeklong multi-lateral meetings. The first is an experts meeting held each spring and the second is the summit meeting in the fall. The multi-mission multilateral exercise is the exercise component of the forum. At the conclusion of this year’s summit, South Korea assumed the host nation duties for 2022.