Pacific Area deputy commander visits Reservists deployed to Africa

This article is also available in the RESERVIST Magazine, Issue 1, 2018.

Written by Capt. Evan Galbo

Camp Lemonnier entrance sign. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

Camp Lemonnier entrance sign. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro, the deputy commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, spent the last few days of November visiting Coast Guard reservists deployed to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. DeQuattro is the first Coast Guard flag officer to visit Camp Lemonnier in support of Coast Guard reservists deployed there.

Petty Officer 1st Class Victor Mayhew, Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Hemenway, Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro, Lt. Jeffrey Kemp, Capt. Evan Galbo, Master Chief Petty Officer Andreas Apenburg, and Lt. Cmdr. Robert Wyman pose for a photo in front of the Camp Lemonnier entrance sign. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 1st Class Victor Mayhew, Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Hemenway, Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro, Lt. Jeffrey Kemp, Capt. Evan Galbo, Master Chief Petty Officer Andreas Apenburg, and Lt. Cmdr. Robert Wyman pose for a photo in front of the Camp Lemonnier entrance sign. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Djibouti is strategically located near some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and Coast Guard reservists embedded with Navy Coastal Riverine Squadrons (CRS) in both California and Florida forward-deployed to the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations. There, the reservists assist with the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Maritime force protection of U.S. naval ships calling on the Port of Djibouti, and sailing through the threat-prone waters adjacent to the Horn of Africa, is a primary mission set of the detachment deployed to Camp Lemonnier. A CRS WAVE deployment has a typical complement of three Coast Guard reservists in this Navy-lead mission that now has an end strength close to 250 personnel. Coast Guard reservists have continuously been deployed with the CRS missions to the Horn of Africa and Bahrain regions since February 2013.

The afternoon of Nov. 30, 2017, DeQuattro, assisted by Pacific Area Reserve Command Master Chief Andreas Apenburg, took time to present Petty Officers 1st Class Robert Hemenway and Victor Mayhew with their Navy Expeditionary Warfare (EXW) Specialist pins. Hemenway and Mayhew, both members of CRS-1 in Coronado, Calif., had both just completed seven-month deployments.

Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro (left) and Chief Petty Officer Andreas Apenburg (left background) presents Petty Officers 1st Class Victor Mayhew (right background) and Robert Hemenway (right foreground) with Navy Navy Expeditionary Warfare Specialist pins. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Rear Adm. Pat DeQuattro (left) and Chief Petty Officer Andreas Apenburg (left background) presents Petty Officers 1st Class Victor Mayhew (right background) and Robert Hemenway (right foreground) with Navy Navy Expeditionary Warfare Specialist pins. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Navy EXW qualification is similar to the Coast Guard Port Security Badge, but there are subtle differences between the two warfare devices. The Port Security Badge was developed in 1991 and may be earned by both enlisted members and officers. In contrast, the Navy EXW pin was developed in 2006 and may be earned only by enlisted members assigned to Navy expeditionary combat units. (Coast Guard enlisted reservists who wish to earn the EXW qualification should pursue assignment to a CRS [or Group].)

Both qualifications are extremely challenging to earn and require a very high level of expeditionary warfare knowledge and experience. For Coast Guard Reserve members hoping to earn a warfare qualification in their careers, both of these warfare devices are excellent qualifications to pursue but do have their own separate, distinct paths to completion.

Before departing Djibouti, DeQuattro, Appenburg and Capt. Evan Galbo, Coastal Riverine Group 1 (CRG-1) Coast Guard advisor, attended the transfer of authority ceremony between the previous (WAVE 8) and current (WAVE 9) mission commanders.

 

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