This past November, the United States and New Zealand put decades of nuclear controversy behind them as the USS Sampson (DDG-102) sailed for Auckland to celebrate the New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary, marking the first visit of a U.S. warship to the country in 30 years. The event turned into a remarkable example of enduring friendship between allies, as a massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck while the Sampson was en route to the naval festivities. She immediately diverted to hard-hit Kaikoura, assisting authorities with earthquake response efforts alongside the frigate HMNZS Te Kaha, the multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury, and the oiler HMNZS Endeavour, and in concert with the Canadian frigate HMCS Vancouver, the Australian frigate HMAS Darwin, and a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion, all of which were fortuitously in the region for the anniversary celebrations.On 8 November, the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) decommissioned its three largest coast guard craft, the HMJS Cornwall, HMJS Middlesex, and HMJS Surrey, pictured here. These three 205-ton Damen Stan-Patrol 4207-class vessels originally entered service a decade ago and had formed the core of the JDF Coast Guard.
By Eric Wertheim