The President of Sri Lanka Honorable Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Secretary to the Minister of Protection Kamal Gunaratne, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung attended the commissioning of the Navy Ship Vijayabahu, on November 22, previously the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro, in Colombo Harbor. America had donated the ship to Sri Lanka on October 26, 2021 as a part of its persevering with dedication to strengthen Sri Lanka’s means to guard its maritime sovereignty and safety. Viewing the commissioning ceremony with Sri Lankan dignitaries, Ambassador Chung prolonged her appreciation to the ship’s officers and sailors for his or her skillful dealing with of the ship in the course of the voyage. She additionally expressed her due to the households and family members of the sailors for his or her sacrifice in the course of the crew’s lengthy absence.

Sri Lanka’s Unique Financial Zone (EEZ) is seven occasions the scale of its land space and maintains a Search and Rescue space almost 25 occasions as giant. The brand new vessel is able to performing wide-ranging operations that embrace conservation of marine assets, search and rescue of naval and fishing vessels in misery and interdiction of drug and weapons smuggling amongst different essential capabilities. The Vijayabahu is the third ship donated by america to the Sri Lanka Navy, preceded by the Gajabahu in 2018 and the Samudura in 2004, which proceed to patrol the nation’s waters. The newest ship, a former Hamilton-class high-endurance 115-meter cutter, undertook one of many longest voyages in Sri Lankan naval historical past embarking from Seattle, Washington, on September 3 and arriving in Colombo on November 2, 2022.


The President of Sri Lanka Honorable Ranil Wickremesinghe and the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung attended the commissioning of the Navy Ship Vijayabahu in Colombo Harbor. (Photograph by U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka)

In its former U.S. position, the then-Douglas Munro enforced fishing laws in Alaskan waters, seized trawlers engaged in unlawful practices and interdicted 11.5 tons of cocaine off the coast of Mexico, one of many largest hauls within the historical past of the U.S. Coast Guard. After the 2004 tsunami, the cutter offered meals and water to Indonesians and later seized a vessel overtaken by pirates off the Horn of Africa. The ship additionally rescued survivors of quite a few shipwrecks in harmful and frigid waters off the Alaskan coast. The switch of the vessel is only one level in an extended historical past of cooperation between Sri Lanka and america in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific area. The U.S. is dedicated to supporting Sri Lanka’s efforts to guard its sea lanes, that are very important to assuaging the present financial disaster.

USCGC Douglas Munro (WHEC-724), beforehand USCGC Munro (WHEC-724), is a Hamilton-class Excessive Endurance Cutter of the U.S. Coast Guard. Munro was commissioned on September 27, 1971, at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana. Douglas Munro was positioned into In-Fee Particular Standing on March 31, 2021, starting the method of decommissioning the ultimate Hamilton-class cutter. Douglas Munro was decommissioned on April 24, 2021 and was transferred to the Sri Lanka Navy on October 26, 2021 underneath pennant quantity P 627. She turns into the second Hamilton-class cutter to be transferred to the Sri Lanka Navy after USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720). She is going to endure an intensive refit at Seattle earlier than crusing residence in 2022. The Hamilton-class cutter was the most important class of vessel within the U.S. Coast Guard till changed by the Legend-class cutter, except for the Polar-class icebreaker.