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Coast Guard celebrates completion of training as part of cutter transfer to Uruguay


Three former Coast Guard cutters, now serving the Uruguay Navy as ROU-14 Rio Arapey, ROU-15 Rio de La Plata and ROU-16 Rio Yaguaron, stop at Coast Guard Sector San Juan Sept. 24, 2022, during their more than two-month transit from Baltimore to Uruguay. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Capt. Robert Pirone.

The Coast Guard Office of International Acquisition on Sept. 1, 2022, recognized members of the Uruguay Navy supporting the transfer of three 87-foot Protector-class patrol boats to Uruguay. The ceremony at Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore celebrated the Uruguay crew’s completion of a rigorous six-week training program. The ships and crew departed Baltimore Sept. 8 for Uruguay.

“This transit is the culmination of more than a year of cooperative engagement between the Coast Guard and the Uruguayan Navy,” said Benjamin Posil, International Acquisition office chief. “It is an affirmation of the United States’ Excess Defense Articles or EDA process and the highly capable professionals that are tasked with effectively employing it, and it also highlights the professionalism and capabilities of our dedicated partner, the Uruguayan Navy.”

Rear Adm. Douglas Schofield, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer, presides over the training completion celebration Sept. 1, 2022. The ceremony at Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore celebrated the Uruguay crew’s completion of a rigorous six-week training program. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Hodges.

The Coast Guard Cutter Transition Division Training Team helped the Uruguay crew master the art of damage control, engineering maintenance, ship handling and watchstanding on Rio Arapey, Rio de La Plata, and Rio Yaguaron, which are former Coast Guard Cutters Albacore, Cochito and Gannet. The Coast Guard officially transferred the title of the three coastal patrol boats Feb. 10, 2022. Since the title transfer, the cutters had been undergoing maintenance and upgrade work at Coast Guard Yard.

The 87-foot Protector-class patrol boat is an innovative, multi-mission vessel used by the Coast Guard to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, fishery patrols, drug interdiction, illegal immigrant interdiction and homeland security duties up to 200 miles offshore. These are the first boats of this class transferred to a foreign partner nation through the EDA program. The three vessels going to Uruguay were commissioned between 1999 and 2009 and homeported in Connecticut, Virginia and Florida.

EDA transfers are a valuable tool in a larger security cooperation program that enables the Coast Guard to make significant contributions to building and sustaining global maritime partnerships in support of the national maritime strategy. These patrol boats will help Uruguay expand its capability in several critical areas, including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and fisheries enforcement.

For more information: International Acquisition Program page