Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, Commander of the U.S. Navy Logistics Group Western Pacific, presented five metal patrol boats to the Bangladesh Navy during a ceremony at the Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) Headquarters in Chittagong April 25.
Tynch, Joel Reifman, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Bangladesh and senior delegates from the Bangladesh Navy held a ceremony with the Bangladesh Sailors who will operate the boats, passing a symbolic key to commemorate the exchange of the ownership of crafts and celebrating the long-standing partnership between both nations.
The fast-response Metal Shark boats are capable of reaching up to 35 knots and are large enough to operate in coastal and nearshore environments in various conditions, while also allowing for expeditionary operation in a wide range of climates. The boats will be utilized by SWADS teams as multi-purpose vessels in various scenarios to include anti-piracy and counter-terrorism.
Tynch, who had recently visited Bangladesh’s Naval Academy in November 2018, remarked on the timing of the ceremony.
“I grew up on a farm” said Tynch. “And I find it fortuitous that these boats have been delivered in April – the beginning of the planting season here in Bangladesh and around the world – and, like those seeds being sown in the fields, these boats represent the future. I’ve seen the tremendous seamanship on the Bangladesh Navy in action and I look forward to seeing the future accomplishments of these Sailors tomorrow, with the seeds we have planted here today.”
The boat handover presents the U.S. and Bangladesh Navies with future training and subject matter exchange opportunities for long-term maintenance and tactics with the patrol boats.
“We work together with our Bangladeshi partners because we share a common belief in rules-based order and a commitment to maritime security, and these boats are important to both,” said Tynch. “Without the ability to maintain awareness of the maritime environment, that rules-based order cannot be enforced.”
In addition to the presentation of crafts, Tynch visited Ashar Alo, a school financed and directed by the Bangladesh Navy for special needs children.
The U.S. and Bangladesh routinely work together across several bilateral and multilateral maritime exercises, to include Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), Southeast Asia Cooperation Training (SEACAT), and the Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.