ADM Papp rallies the Coast Guard

Admiral Robert J. Papp, 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Earlier this week, we brought you Admiral Bob Papp’s first hand account of the ongoing Coast Guard role in the Deepwater Horizon Response. Moments ago, Admiral Papp sent an All Hands e-mail to the men and women of the service rallying them to “stand a taut watch” as the Coast Guard faces “the most challenging environmental response our Service has ever faced.”

Here is what Admiral Papp had to say …

Shipmates,

Once again we find our service answering the call “All Hands on Deck.” What started out on April 20, 2010 as a search and rescue operation, resulting in the tragic loss of eleven lives aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, has evolved into the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. While a partial cap is recovering some oil, the spill continues in record quantities. The Coast Guard has the lead for this response. The people of the Gulf, indeed the entire Nation, are depending on our Service. They are depending on you.

This response is our number one service priority. We are all in this together. That is why I want every Coast Guardsman to understand that it is their duty to support and sustain this monumental effort. Sustainability will require both flexibility to deploy personnel and resources to the Deepwater Horizon response when called upon, and at the same time continuing to perform our many other vital missions across our area operations. We have a proud history of doing exactly that; you need look no further than the recent examples of our Hurricane Katrina and Haitian Earthquake response. The urgency of this response is no different and will require no less effort.

Our present mission is clear: make every effort to tackle this spill at the source, on the sea, and as a last resort, when it comes ashore. Time tested Coast Guard Pub One principles of operations still apply: particularly clear objective, effective presence, unity of effort, on scene initiative, and flexibility. We will continue to direct the flow of additional equipment and personnel to sustain this response and maintain the offensive.

This is the most challenging environmental response our Service has ever faced. We will lean hard into it and meet it head on. We will make every effort to protect the precious natural resource that is the Gulf of Mexico and our citizens who live along it and depend upon it for their livelihoods.

Stand a taut watch … Semper Paratus.

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