Sri Lankan Navy takes delivery of former US Coast Guard Douglas Munro
Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 8:35 p.m. SL time, ColomboPage Press Office, Sri Lanka.
October 27, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) officially took delivery of the EX-United States Coast Guard Cutter, USCGC Douglas Munro, provided by the United States to the Sri Lankan Navy, in a ceremony held at the US Coast Guard base in Seattle. , Washington on Oct. 26, 2021, the Navy Media Unit said.
On behalf of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral YN Jayarathne attended the event.
As such, the ship has formally joined the SLN fleet from October 26, 2021 under the flag number P 627 and the mainmast of the ship will display the National Flag from that date.
With the aim of strengthening and developing partnerships to overcome common challenges in the maritime domain, US Coast Guard has already provided two vessels to SLN and they are currently patrolling the island waters under the names of ‘Samudura’ (P 621) and ‘Gajabahu’ (P 626). As an extension of the partnership ties that bring value to everyone’s service, Ex-USCGC Douglas Munro has been transferred as the third vessel to be handed over to SLN.
Ex-USCGC Douglas Munro, the second ‘Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutter’ received by the SLN is 115m long, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 29 knots and an endurance of 14,000 NM at cruising speed. In addition, it was designed for 187 crew members and is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and machinery.
The vessel that was used by the US Coast Guard has rendered exceptional service during its tenure by limiting illegal fishing, illegal immigration and the seizure of over 11.5 tons of cocaine in US waters. The Douglas Munro was officially decommissioned on April 24, 2021 after 49 years of service.
Sri Lanka inherits an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which is seven times the size of the landmass. In such a context, the Navy is determined to deploy this vessel in large-scale operations that include the conservation of the region’s marine resources and the search and rescue of distressed naval and fishing communities. Thus, the Navy will be able to use this vessel effectively in the future to achieve the national aspiration, while creating safe and secure seas for all for economic affairs.
Likewise, SLNS Samudura (P 621) and Gajabahu (P 626) the Offshore Patrol Vessels received by SLN from the US Coast Guard on previous occasions have played a laudable role for the island nation and contributed to the seizure of large shipments of drugs smuggled by sea.
In addition, as the island nation’s first line of defense, it is mandatory that the navy be equipped with ships with higher endurance and operational capabilities. As such, the acquisition of high endurance ships for the SLN fleet will enable the country to achieve its maritime safety aspirations with ingenuity.
The SL Navy’s designated crew for the “EX USCG Douglas Munro” is expected to undergo training and perform the necessary restoration work attached to the US Coast Guard base in Seattle over the next seven months, as scheduled, and should sail in its home port in 2022.
Thus, the ship’s return voyage is set to begin in 2022 and the voyage starting from the Port of Seattle across the Pacific and Indian Oceans to Sri Lanka will likely be the longest sea voyage ever made by a Sri Lankan warship. in the history of SLN.
Meanwhile, the event at the US Coast Guard base in Seattle that saw the transfer of ex-USCGC Douglas Munro to SLN was attended by Chief of Staff Rear Admiral YN Jayarathne, representing the Sri Lanka Navy. As commander of the thirteenth host district of the USCG, Rear Admiral Melvin W. Bouboulis was present on the occasion. In addition, Montana State Adjutant General, Major General John P. Hronek II, Principal Assistant Secretary (Defense -III) Mr. Chinthaka Abeykoon, Deputy Director of Naval Projects and Plans, Captain Nimal Ranasinghe , Commander-designate P-627, Captain Lanka Dissanayake, Base Seattle Commander, Captain Ibrahim M. Khalil and officials from the United States Embassy in Colombo and the United States Department of State were also present on this occasion.