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 …


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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4 Responses

  1. Douglas Aldrich says:


  2. Robert Molleur says:

    Admiral Papp:

    I just saw on the NBC national news the Coast Guard shutdown the small boat oil spill clean up in Louisiana for 24 hours to certify the crafts for PFD’s.

    As a former 44 foot MLB Coast Guardsman all I have to say is way to go!

    The Coast Guard is getting more and more like the EPA each and everyday.

    God help us!

  3. Admiral Bob Papp says:

    Dear Mr. Molleur: Not true. And the true story will probably never be told. It was not 24 hours…it was significantly less than that (more like 5 hours); it was not all of Louisiana…it was one small area; and, it was not small boat clean up…it was several barges that had been recently configured to vacuum oil spills. It was a delay so we could perform some stability calculations for the barges, and to make certain that people would not be subjected to the hazards of equipment (some electrical) that was not designed for the marine environment. How would the story have read if some citizens drowned, were electrocuted, or burned…because the USCG waived safety requirements. There’s always two sides to the story.
    I’ve personally been down to the Gulf twice in three weeks (and I’m going back again) and have observed, first hand, the work, the people, and the conditions. Not everyone who writes press stories can say that. I’m very proud of the job our Coast Guardsmen are performing in the Gulf, under very difficult, and thankless, conditions.


    Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant

  4. Elizabeth Allred says:

    I have been keeping a keen watch on the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I am thankful for all of the Coast Guard’s hard work in cleaning it up. It is in moments like these that I wish I was a part of this organization. Keep up the good work!