The US Navy’s two Mark-VI (Mk-VI) patrol boats have completed a 500nm long-range transit to help determine their operational reach.
Assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, Detachment (Det) Guam, the vessels’ transit also provided information on reliable planning factors and considerations to navigate Mk-VI patrol boats to Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 Alpha officer in charge lieutenant commander Greg Dusetzina said: “The transit is the longest these boats have ever made in the Pacific. It’s incredibly valuable to test the endurance of these boats, which will give the crews and leadership confidence in the platform and thereby expanding the operational reach of Mk-VI to our close and valued partners in the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.”
The transit considered several factors such as the effects of fuel burn rates, crew fatigue, weather, and boat reliability.
During the transit, the Mk-VI patrol boats reached an average speed of 25k.
Designed and built by Safe Boats International (SBI), the 85ft Mk-VI patrol boats are designed to replace the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command’s (NECC) ageing patrol fleet.
The boats are armed with Mk-50 and Mk-38 Mod 2 gun weapon systems, an Mk-44 machine gun system, and a long-range acoustic hailing device.
Recently, Mk-VI patrol boats have been deployed to support Super Typhoon Yutu relief efforts in Tinian and Saipan.
The boats played a key role in delivering service members from joint services, supplies and equipment as part of the recovery efforts.
CRG 1 Det Guam is assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 75. It is responsible for performing maritime security operations, providing additional security capabilities.