National Safe Boating Week 2013 is here! It is no coincidence this week, focused on educating boaters about the latest safe boating practices, takes place in the days leading up to Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the recreational boating season. Many Americans will be visiting our nation’s lakes, rivers and coasts for the first time in months and should keep safety at the forefront of their plans.
With air temperatures hovering around freezing every night, steaming hot showers were a welcomed luxury for more than 1,200 deployed Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force personnel at Camp Baldwin, especially once the camp was transformed into a giant mud pit after steady rain showers drenched the clay grounds during the day. Camp Baldwin, a large-scale, temporary military camp built in the middle of a Korean Marine base in Pohang, South Korea.
It was a journey that would take more than five weeks, six 32-foot security boats, two pick-up trucks, six boat trailers and 15 five-ton storage containers. This journey included traveling more than 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Everett, Wash., to Pohang, South Korea. Coast Guard port security units 311, 312 and 313 mobilized 80 tons of gear and more than 100 personnel to participate in one of the largest, international military exercises on the Korean peninsula, Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore Exercise.
This year’s ice-breaking season has been a busy one filled with successful missions and a few unexpected challenges. One of the latter was a major electrical failure on board the ice-breaking tug Biscayne Bay, homeported in St. Ignace, Mich. While this would be a lofty challenge to overcome, the centralized depot maintenance – resulting from modernization of the Coast Guard’s Surface Forces Logistics Center – repaired Biscayne Bay in a record 44 days.
In order to be masters of their craft, Cape Disappointment’s crews conduct training in the surf whenever possible. During the 2012 to 2013 winter season the crew conducted more than 115 hours of surf training in conditions ranging from 40 knots of wind to stinging hail. From October 2012 to March 2013, the crew documented their training and now you can see the action!
As the bitter winter temperatures come to an end and the ice that frosts the Hudson River begins to melt, preparations for the spring and summer months are in full effect as Coast Guard Cutter Katherine Walker makes its way north towards Albany, N.Y. The Katherine Walker is a 175-foot buoy tender, homeported in Bayonne, N.J. Its major mission includes the servicing of aids to navigation throughout New York Harbor, Western Long Island Sound, the Hudson and East Rivers, as well as other waters along the Connecticut, New York and New Jersey coastlines.
On Monday, April 15, 2013, the City of Boston was viciously attacked when two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line. In response to this tragic event, Sector Boston surged Coast Guard resources to protect Boston Harbor from any additional attacks. Maritime Safety and Security Team Boston supported security efforts with vigor and resolve. Lt. j.g. Alicia Flanagan responded in the aftermath as MSST Boston’s deployable team leader.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp provided oral testimony before two U.S. House of Representatives subcommittees yesterday on the Coast Guard’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request. In the morning, the Commandant testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and in the afternoon testified along with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation.
Coast Guard crewmembers at small boat stations across the country stand watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, hot or cold, 365 days a year. Ready at a moment’s notice, these men and women spring into action whenever called upon to save those in peril. To them, it’s just a day in the life of a small boat station.
We’ve made it to the final four and your winners from each division have been chosen! Still in the competition is an aids to navigation team, helicopter flight operations, a moment of remembrance and a cutter underway in the Pacific. Now it’s your turn to find out who goes to the finals of “Shutter Shootout” – your chance to select the Coast Guard photo of the year.