Mark VI patrol boats make longest transit ever in Pacific
By CHRISTIAN LOPEZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 4, 2019
Two Navy crews in late December completed the longest trip ever in Mark VI patrol boats over the Pacific Ocean — 500 nautical miles — according to the Navy.
A pair of the vessels with Coastal Riverine Group 1 Detachment Guam traveled on Dec. 28-29.
The completed journey of about 575 statute miles showcased the patrol boats’ range and reliability. The 85-foot-long vessels averaged a speed of 25 knots, just under 30 mph.
The exercise tested the effects of weather on the boat’s ability to operate, as well as gauging crew fatigue and fuel burn rates.
In addition, the ocean transit raised the crews’ confidence in their boats and expanded their reach to U.S. allies the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau, said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Dusetzina, officer in charge of Coast Riverine Squadron 3 Alpha, in a Navy statement Wednesday.
Prior to the 500-nautical-mile transit, Mark VI patrol boats were put to work during Super Typhoon Yutu relief efforts for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
The vessels delivered military personnel along with essential supplies and equipment to Tinian and Saipan following the historic super typhoon on April 23.
The Guam detachment, which is part of Task Force 75, conducts maritime security operations, including port security and protecting high-value assets on ships with limited capabiliities of their own.