U.S. Transfers Equipment to Philippine Coast Guard, As USCG Cutter Midgett Set to Visit

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson announced the upcoming arrival of U.S. Coast Guard cutter Midgett to the Philippines in the coming week. The Ambassador gave these remarks during an equipment transfer ceremony on Monday from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to the Philippine Coast Guard Fleet. This coincided with the PCG Fleet’s 15h Anniversary. The ceremony, transfer of equipment, and the upcoming visit of the cutter highlight the assistance and support by the U.S. to the Philippines in maritime security.

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines gives remarks at the equipment turnover event, emphasizing U.S support to the PCG. (Philippine Coast Guard Photo)

In remarks given by MaryKay Loss Carlson, she stated:

“A week from now, Manila will welcome U.S. Coast Guard cutter Midgett for a terrific program of in-port and at-sea events that will surely be memorable for all involved.” 

The Ambassador also reiterated American commitment toward the development of the PCG: 

“The PCG is on a promising trajectory, and we are excited to do what we can to help the Coast Guard reach its bold and vital development goals to meet the full array of maritime challenges. From promoting safety to security and to protecting environmental and economic interests.” 

USCGC Munro and PCG OPV Gabriela Silang conducted bilateral training last year. At the time, BRP Gabriela Silang was the largest ship in the PCG fleet. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Kevin G. Rivas)

USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) is the eighth ship of the Legend-class, also known as the National Security Cutter. Commissioned in 2019 the vessel has since been homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. Midgett, and its sister ships, have been seen throughout the Pacific performing patrols, law enforcement, fisheries control, and other aspects relating to maritime security. Last year USCGC Munro (WMSL–755), another ship of the class also based in Hawaii, trained with the PCG and other Philippine maritime agencies. Midgett was last reported to be preparing for a “Western Pacific Patrol” after participating in RIMPAC 2022.

It is currently unknown what the in-port and at-sea events will be for USCGC Midgett, but recent events and developments indicate the possibility of more comprehensive and joint actions between the PCG and USCG. This could also be seen across other services, as the Philippine and U.S. Navies recently announced upcoming joint patrols and closer ties

Binoculars, Handheld VHF Radios, Waterproof Digital Cameras, and Military Style Individual First Aide Kit were handed over to the PCG by the U.S. State Department. (U.S. Embassy Philippines Photo)

The arrival of such vessels demonstrates U.S. commitment to the PCG, which mostly involves the training of PCG personnel. U.S. funding built a training facility in Bulacan, which will help the PCG train for larger vessels and better capabilities. In this ceremony, material such as Maintenance and Repair Group tools and Tactical Equipment was turned over to the PCG. 

Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard Fleet communicated the PCG’s gratitude to the U.S. during the ceremony’s welcoming remarks: 

“It is worth mentioning that the United States government has consistently shown its support for this organization throughout the years. And that they are one of the most vocal advocates for improving the capabilities, in addition to the funding of education and training, for the men and women of the Philippine Coast Guard.”

USCG training PCG personnel on boat handling and navigation. (U.S. Embassy Philippines Photo)

U.S. support for maritime security initiatives in the Philippines is usually overtaken by the high-profile Japanese and French vessels loaned to the PCG. However, upon a closer examination, American assistance was and still is instrumental in getting the PCG to where it is today. American training, equipment transfers, and other assistance is the backbone of the modern PCG Fleet.

Cover Image:
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bacon)