On June 9, Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma was moored in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while on a routine patrol. Four crewmembers headed to a local beach to relax and spend some time away from the cutter. While there, they noticed a couple – Taylor and Laura Ford – trapped in a strong rip current. Recognizing the beach had no lifeguards on duty, Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Barsness, a gunner’s mate, sprang into action. Taylor Ford was near drowning when Barsness reached him. Barsness was able to pull Ford from the water, calming him and waiting by his side until medical assistance arrived.
July 16 marked the 100th anniversary of the traveling inspection staff, originally created under the Steamboat Inspection Service. These travelers are highly experienced marine inspectors and investigators that help to measure the effectiveness of existing programs and policies.
Four years ago, Roxanne Watson lay in a critical care unit, awaiting a heart transplant she never thought would come. Watson had already been told three times they had found a match. When they came to her a fourth time, she remained skeptical. To avoid getting her hopes up, she told her heart transplant coordinator to call her when they found a heart. That call came on the night of July 15, 2010.
At some point in everyone’s life, they think to themselves ‘If I can find a job I truly love, I will never have to work a day in my life.’ For Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez, this is a thought that shaped her entire future. “Being in the military and serving my country is in my blood,” Lopez said.
A much different sort of chaos greeted Coast Guard veteran Edward DiGiovanni on Easter Sunday in April 1945. DiGiovanni, then 18, was aboard the USS LST-884, a tank landing ship operated by his unit, heading toward Japan’s Okinawa Island. Just weeks earlier, DiGiovanni and the ship’s crew had participated in the U.S. invasion of Iwo Jima during the closing months of World War II. DiGiovanni stood at the bottom of the hill as a group of U.S. Marines raised the country s flag atop Mount Surabachi, as depicted in the now-famous photograph.
It’s not every day that a Coast Guard member finds themselves conducting cyber operations overseas, but that is exactly what Lt. Cmdr. Sean Plankey did while serving a 7-month tour in Afghanistan. After completing his masters in the C4IT advanced education program at University of Pennsylvania, Plankey was assigned to U.S. Cyber Command in Ft. Meade, Maryland as the Weapons and Tactics Branch chief. From this position, a unique opportunity presented itself: provide all offensive cyberspace operations in direct support of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and subordinate units.
Behind the helm of a small boat, on the bridge of a cutter or at the controls of an aircraft is a skilled member of the United States Coast Guard. Whether patrolling the high seas or standing watch ashore, Coast Guard men and women are the heart of operations; their diverse talents and backgrounds enable mission success.
On May 1, Coast Guard aircrews took to the sky to search for two downed Navy pilots whose plane had crashed somewhere off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Fortunately, a rescue helicopter crew found and rescued them. Both men were later released from Spohn Shoreline Memorial Hospital where they were treated for minor injuries.But what happened to their plane? Someone needed to recover it.
Brewster began serving as an officer in the Revenue Cutter Service in 1797, about the time the Quasi-War with France began. By 1801, he received his captain’s commission and began serving as skipper of cutter Active, out of New York. He remained in the service until a year after the end of the War of 1812. All of cutter Active’s missions during the War of 1812 were carried out under his command.
450 search and rescue cases. 591 people in distress. 83 saved lives. Sound like a lot to handle? These numbers are just a snap shot of the annual missions carried out by personnel assigned to Air Station Corpus Christi. With this level of responsibility, it is only fitting that the air station recently received their first HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft, the newest aircraft in the Coast Guard fleet.