The U.S. Coast Guard implements a transfer of two former 110-foot Island-class patrol cutters to Ukraine.
According to the statement, U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, and Ukrainian Adm. Ihor Voronchenko, Naval Forces of Ukraine Commander, signed a certificate of implementation for the transfer of two 110-foot cutters to the Ukrainian government at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.
The official ceremony also was attended by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko.
“It is a great privilege for me to be here, in Baltimore. In a place of a century-long traditions. In a place, where the naval might of the United States is maintained. It is my honor to salute the men and women, who serve in the United States Coast Guard. You are carrying out the greatest mission – protect the borders of the Homeland,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
“This day marks another milestone in developing a strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States,” the Head of State stressed.
The President once again emphasized that the US leadership, the President of the United States had once again proven to stand firmly on the guard of international law, to support a freedom-loving people in their quest for peace, democracy and independence.
“The first two “Island” boats will become another brick to strengthen a naval alliance between the Ukrainian and American peoples,” the President said, adding that the given assistance would be supplemented by the US assistance for construction of Ukraine’s Navy Command Center in Ochakiv.
“Today’s event clearly shows that the Strategic Partnership between Ukraine and the United States is vibrant and productive,” he stressed.
According to the Head of State, this alliance is already deeply rooted in the annual Sea Breeze exercise co-hosted by Ukraine and the US in the Black Sea. This July it was held for the 18th time with the participation of 17 nations.
Vice Admiral of the Coast Guard of the USA Michael Mcallister noted that over the past 20 years, the Coast Guard has provided 520 assets to 75 partners under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. “The program provides mutually beneficial cooperation with all partners. Our international partners can swiftly improve maritime safety and defense capability. These transfers help secure a long-term international partnership that provides global maritime security,” he said.
The Vice Admiral of the Coast Guard of the USA also emphasized: “I am convinced that these boats will also serve well in the hands of the Ukrainian Navy. In the hands of skilled sailors, such as US Coast Guard and Ukrainian Navy, the Island-class motor boats have proven themselves to be versatile and efficient assets. Their teams have distinguished themselves in preventing illicit trafficking, emergency response, defense operations and rescue of people in the seas”.
Michael Mcallister also told that he had served as a commanding officer at one of those ships: “Coast Guard sailors love these ships”.
“It is bittersweet to watch these cutters leave our service, we are proud to see them continue their service lives and remain relevant instruments of global maritime safety and security. We look forward to beginning the transfer process and working with our Ukrainian partners to deliver these outstanding cutters that have served the United States so well,” the Vice Admiral of the Coast Guard of the USA noted.