Coast Guard Cutter Kimball encounters Russia and China military naval presence in Bering Sea

    A Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crewmember observing a foreign vessel in the Bering Sea, September 19. (Photo Credit: Coast Guard)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea encountered a People’s Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser, Renhai CG 101, sailing approximately 75 nautical miles north of Kiska Island on September 19.

    According to a release from the Coast Guard, the Kimball crew later identified two more Chinese naval vessels and four Russian naval vessels, including a Russian Federation Navy destroyer, all in a single formation with the Renhai as a combined surface action group operating in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. 

    As a result, the Kimball crew is now operating under Operation Frontier Sentinel, a Seventeenth Coast Guard District operation designed to meet presence with presence when strategic competitors operate in and around U.S. waters.

    The U.S Coast Guard said presence strengthens the international rules-based order and promotes the conduct of operations in a manner that follows international norms.

    While the surface action group was temporary in nature, and Kimball observed it disperse, the Kimball will continue to monitor activities in the U.S. EEZ to ensure the safety of U.S. vessels and international commerce in the area.

    A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules air crew provided support to the Kimball’s Operation Frontier Sentinel activities.    

    In September 2021, Coast Guard cutters deployed to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean also encountered Chinese naval vessels, including a surface action group transiting approximately 50 miles off the Aleutian Island chain. 

    “While the formation has operated in accordance with international rules and norms,” said Rear Adm. Nathan Moore, Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander, “we will meet presence-with-presence to ensure there are no disruptions to U.S. interests in the maritime environment around Alaska.”

    Kimball is a 418-foot legend-class national security cutter homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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