March 28, 2003
RV Transquest, Sausalito, CA
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Press Release by the Coast Guard after the graduation ceremony on March 28, 2003, for the Azeri crew:
"Last of the Class"
USCGC PT BROWER (WPB 82372)
On March 28th, 2003, the United States Coast Guard will transfer Coast Guard Cutter Point Brower (WPB 82372) to the country of Azerbaijan thus bringing an incredible era of "Point Class" vessels to an end. The transfer ceremony will take place at 10a.m. at Coast Guard Group San Francisco on Yerba Buena Island.
CGC Point Brower was commissioned in 1970 and stationed in San Diego, CA with primary missions in Law Enforcement (LE) and Search and Rescue (SAR). While in San Diego she was credited for the seizure of 17,646 lbs. of marijuana aboard the tug FLEETS POINT. Her vigilance continued in San Diego until 1989 when she relocated to the San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island continuing her missions in LE and SAR. Upon arriving she found her enduring talents put to the test performing multiple operations in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989. Her other accomplishments include several hundred law enforcement boardings, response to thousands of SAR cases throughout the waters of Coast Guard Group San Francisco, Onscene Commander for the rescue of Humphrey the Humpback Whale in 1990, and patrolling the 1992 America's Cup races off San Diego.
Never irresolute from her motto of Semper Paratus, which means Always Ready, it's easy to say that the many crews who have served aboard Point Brower's decks have embodied the core competencies of the US Coast Guard, Honor - Respect - Devotion to Duty. These core competencies are now being transferred to the country of Azerbaijan via classroom and practical hands-on training, instructional training on all equipment (old and new) and many hours of underway training throughout the San Francisco Bay.
Senior Chief Boatswain Mate Paul Andrieu, Chief Machinist Technician Greg Ressio, Chief Quartermaster Steven Tierney and LT Paul Garcia possessing over 90 years of experience, took the twelve-man crew through all Engineering, Navigational, Operational and Damage control training associated with an 82 foot multi-use patrol vessel. Adapting to the Russian language barrier by using translators, these men performed repeated instruction in all areas until the Azeri crew smiled that smile of confidence.
Point Brower's prospective new skipper, Captain 2nd Rank Rufat Feyzulov, and his second in command, Auxiliary Ziyad Aghayev, now pilot the vessel demonstrating their new skills conducting operational, damage control and maneuvering drills independently. They eagerly wait the day they'll be patrolling their territorial waters in the Caspian Sea. A place where Captain Feyzulov says their training will be put to the test as she continues Point Brower's missions of LE and SAR as the "Azerbaijan Marine Brigade Ship S-201".
The Point Brower is the 34th "Point Class" to be transferred by Coast Guard International Affairs' Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Department at Coast Guard Headquarters. The 12 Azeri sailors are now to be counted among the hundreds of Foreign Maritime Students trained as Coast Guard vessels are transferred to other countries. From Antigua to Azerbaijan, Ecuador to Estonia and from Trinidad & Tobago to Tunisia, ex-Coast Guard Cutters are patrolling in waters around the globe. Over 27 countries have received one or more of the 8-WLB's, 7-WLM's, 41-44'MLBs' and the already mentioned 34-WPB's from the fleet. This incredible program, operating almost entirely on reimbursable funding from the foreign clients, has saved in excess of 28 million dollars in disposals costs while receiving over 18 million dollars in reimbursements.
Many nations have a maritime service, but many of the service core missions are essentially those of a Coast Guard - SAR, counter-narcotics, resource protection, aids to navigation, etc. The Coast Guard, as the world's premier multi-mission maritime force, provides an excellent model for most foreign maritime services. Ship transfers provide capable platforms, technical training and enhanced opportunities for engagement with foreign maritime services.
Enabling legislation for Foreign Military Sales is the Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-269) that authorizes government-to-government purchases of weapons, equipment, training, and services such as technical assistance and construction. Congress sets eligibility requirements and dollar limits for each program. This statute gives ownership of the security assistance program to the Department of State and execution and oversight to the Department of Defense. The Foreign Assistance Act (Public Law 87-195) which authorizes transfer of training and equipment by presidential direction, (22 USC 2318), transfer of Excess Defense Articles as grant items at no cost (22 USC 2321), Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to fund training and the transfer of equipment for counter-narcotics (22 USC 2291), as well as financing the training of foreign military students known IMET (22 USC 2347). Regardless of the specific authority, all foreign military sales must be executed at no cost to the US taxpayer.
Web pages & photos provided by the Transquest Web master: Sarah Rodger
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