Admiral-select, Capt. John Mauger, and Lt. Will Cotta, pose for a photo with Cotta's plaque at the Federal Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony in February 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Will Cotta

Lt. Will Cotta’s designation as “Coast Guard Engineer of the Year” is due in no small part to his time as an engineer on a Coast Guard cutter, as a frontline researcher, and as a Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, subject matter expert at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center. Cotta believes there is always something more to learn and has been spent his career in the Coast Guard solving complex problems to improve how the service completes its mission.


Participants of a 10-day joint military bilateral exercise, Gema Bhakti 17 (GB17) take a group photo during the event in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Unity in Diversity: Coast Guard lends support to bilateral exercise in Indonesia

Bhinneka tunggal ika, the Indonesian national motto, means “unity in diversity.” This theme resonated with two reservists from Coast Guard Reserve Unit Pacific Command (USPACOM) who traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, in September 2017. Capt. Joanna Hiigel and Cmdr. John Mower traveled halfway around the world to support the 10-day joint military bilateral exercise, Gema Bhakti 17 (GB17). This was the fifth exercise of its kind held between the U.S. and Indonesia’s military, Tentara National Indonesia. It was designed to enhance collaboration and skill in planning a response to a regional crisis, with an emphasis on maritime security.


Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Cockpit Laser Strike Protection

Laser strikes are a safety concern for both commercial and military aviation because direct eye strikes can result in temporary flash blindness or eye damage, depending on the strength of the laser. The Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center is working to find options that would provide the necessary eye protection for pilots while still allowing the level of visibility needed for operational awareness and to see the many indicators used during SAR missions – one of those options is a flexible optical filter. Find out more here!


Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of Force Readiness Command, signs the Memorandum of Agreement alongside Dr. JoAnn W. Haysbert, Chancellor and Provost at Hampton University, Jan. 30, 2018. This MOA means another year of partnership between the Coast Guard and Hampton University through the Coast Guard College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Kelli Dougherty.

Supplying a bright future for the service

How can the Coast Guard recruit and maintain a proficient, self-motivated and adaptable workforce in today’s world? It is simple: we build a diverse workforce. The Coast Guard signed a memorandum with Hampton University, home to the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) Scholarship Program. Students who are accepted into the CSPI program are enlisted in the Coast Guard and receive full funding for two years of college.


Crew members of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton put bales of heroin and cocaine onto a crane to be removed from the cutter's flight deck, Sept. 20, 2017, in San Diego. The Coast Guard and its interagency partners seized over 455,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $6 billion wholesale in Fiscal Year 2017, breaking the U.S. record for most cocaine seized in a single year. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer DaVonte' Marrow.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Long-Range, Ultra-Long Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System

To augment interdiction efforts in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific, the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is investigating the feasibility, costs and benefits of using land-based long-range and ultra-long endurance unmanned aircraft systems to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in contraband transit zones.


Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel hits the water for the first time since entering their drydock period, Nov. 15, 2017, at Goodison Shipyards in Quonset, R.I.. The cutter returned to its homeport of Woods Hole, Mass., Dec. 10, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J. Groll.

Keeping a 30-year-old Coast Guard cutter mission-ready

Every three years, Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel’s crew halts their routine patrols of the Northeast Atlantic waters. The cutter must be pulled from its berth to undergo an intense reconditioning period to halt the inevitable aging of the 110-foot cutter fleet. With the new modernization, the crew is able to patrol for about seven days without a return to shore, maximizing the crew’s ability to respond to offshore emergencies.


Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Spotlight: Joint Maritime Test Facility

Mobile, Alabama, is known for bringing Mardi Gras to the United States, for the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, and as home to Hank Aaron and Satchel Paige. Few are aware of the important maritime research contributions a Mobile facility has delivered for nearly 50 years.


The Eagle is a 295-foot barque sailing vessel used to train Coast Guard Academy cadets in the historic aspects of sailing, leadership, navigation and teamwork. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist David Lau.

Coast Guard sail training ship undergoes renovations

Eagle is undergoing the final phase of a four-year service life extension project at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore as part of the Coast Guard’s In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program. Work began in 2014 and has been conducted in four phases so the ship could carry out its training role – providing U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets with training in seamanship, engineering and leadership – each summer.


Fast Response Cutter Webber, first in the class of the “Sentinel”-class of Fast Response Cutters. (U.S. Coast Guard Collection)

The Long Blue Line: Fast Response Cutters – the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s coastal patrol fleet

The Coast Guard is building a class of cutters similar to the Morris-class designed to serve a multi-mission role. The “Sentinel”-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) perform drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; national defense; and much more. The Fast Response Cutters will form the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s coastal patrol fleet, providing multi-mission capabilities and interagency interoperability.


The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maple follows the crew of Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Terry Fox, Aug. 12, 2017, during Maple’s 2017 Northwest Passage transit. As maritime traffic in the area increases, a Coast Guard Research and Development Center project seeks a reliable means of providing critical navigational safety information such as hazards, chart corrections and weather to Arctic mariners via digital means. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn.

Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation: Arctic Navigational Safety Information System

Mariners face a multitude of hazards in the Arctic. The extensive seasonal melting of sea ice, reduction of multi-year ice and increase in first-year ice throughout the Arctic has generated an increase in maritime traffic. To help mitigate some of the risks associated with that increase, the Coast Guard has partnered with the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK) to provide critical navigational safety information to Arctic mariners via digital means.


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