Preliminary discussions on transfer of EX- U.S. Coast Guard Medium Endurance Cutter USCGC Decisive held at Navy Headquarters

In a significant development, successful preliminary discussions were held at the Navy Headquarters, Colombo from 03rd to 05th April 2024, regarding the transfer of the EX-U.S. Coast Guard Medium Endurance Cutter USCGC Decisive to the Sri Lanka Navy. The meeting was chaired by Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Saman Perera and the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Commander Sean Jin.

To enhance the enduring relations between Sri Lanka and the United States and address common maritime challenges, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are actively supporting the capacity building efforts of the Sri Lanka Navy.

The Sri Lanka Navy has been tasked with protecting the marine resources within its exclusive economic zone, an area seven times larger than the country's land mass. The Navy is also entrusted with conducting search and rescue operations, providing relief to seafaring and fishing communities, and ensuring freedom of navigation for economic activities at sea. To bolster its naval fleet, the Sri Lanka Navy will receive the EX - USCGC Decisive from the United States Coast Guard. The ship is scheduled to join the Sri Lanka Navy's fleet in 2025 after undergoing necessary modernization to meet the operational requirements.

The Sri Lanka Navy previously acquired three vessels, namely SLNS 'Samudura' (P 621), SLNS 'Gajabahu' (P 626), and SLNS 'Vijayabahu' (P 627), from the U.S. Coast Guard as part of their fleet expansion. The ships are effectively carrying out operations, both within Sri Lanka's maritime borders and in international waters, to address illegal activities, including non-traditional maritime threats, and to safeguard freedom of navigation. To enhance its maritime operations, the Sri Lanka Navy will acquire ships that meet the current requirements for maintaining a fleet with high endurance and operational efficiency.

The discussions were also attended by a group of senior officials from the U.S. Embassy in Colombo and USCG Headquarters as well as Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Nishantha Peiris and senior officers from the Navy Headquarters.