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Press Release | May 23, 2024

Brazil and the United States partner to combat illegal fishing as US Coast Guard Cutter arrives in Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL 754) arrived in the port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a scheduled visit, Monday. 

This visit marks James’ third stop as the cutter continues its multi-mission deployment in the South Atlantic Ocean, exhibiting the U.S. Coast Guard’s partnership with Brazil and strengthening the interoperability of the two nations’ maritime forces to counter illicit maritime activity and promote maritime sovereignty throughout the region.  

“Working with the Brazilian navy has been a successful demonstration of how our countries can work together,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Donald Terkanian, James’ commanding officer. “James has had the opportunity to enhance relations between the U.S. and Brazil while also addressing the threats posed by illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, port security, and in facilitating safe and lawful maritime commerce and travel.” 

James embarked Brazilian navy Lt. Cmdr. Fernando Schild in April of 2024. Brazil and the United States’ naval services both use unmanned aerial systems to provide increased maritime domain awareness across a variety of mission sets.  The embarked Brazilian officer is part of Brazil’s first ship-based unmanned aerial systems squadron, and the embarkation of this officer aboard James highlights the robust partnership between the two nations and their shared commitment to upholding the rules-based international order at sea. 

In recent years, the United States and Brazil have partnered to share and exchange maritime tactics, techniques, and procedures. Since 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard has provided 34 mobile training team deployments and three resident training courses to Brazil in the areas of crisis management, mobile command systems, port security, maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, and disaster response. Both countries are dedicated to the responsible management of marine resources, demonstrating their shared commitment through the continued integration of their naval forces. 

James, staffed by 150 men and women and is one of the largest and most technologically advanced ships in the Coast Guard's fleet. The crew is dedicated to missions including combatting drug trafficking and monitoring for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities in the Atlantic. Their work not only supports U.S. interests but also contributes to regional stability and security. 

James is the fifth Legend-class national security cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and is currently homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The national security cutters can execute the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. 

James is under the command of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. Based in Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. In addition to surge operations, they also allocate ships to work with partner commands and deploy to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to combat transnational organized crime and illicit maritime activity. 

For information on how to join the U.S. Coast Guard, visit to learn about active duty and reserve, officer and enlisted opportunities. Information on how to apply to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy can be found here