The diversity offered by each and every service member, and how that diversity contributes to mission success was the topic of discussion at this week’s annual National Naval Officers Association, or NNOA, conference in Point Loma, California. The conference brought together members of the Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Merchant Marines and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support the NNOA’s mission of providing professional development for the diverse officer corps within these sea-going services.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft dedicated a training center within Coast Guard Headquarters in honor of Dr. Olivia Hooker, the first African-American woman in the Coast Guard.
“I knew a helicopter could take you far, but I never imagined it would take me this far.”
Our history as a maritime nation is intertwined with the missions of America’s Sea Services – the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. From engaging and defeating adversaries to assisting other nations through humanitarian and disaster relief, our maritime forces have a proud tradition of cooperative partnership.
Today, I join our Nation in gathering together with family and loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner. While turkey and stuffing will be served, the sights and sounds will be different from that of many Americans as I spend the holiday with Patrol Forces Southwest Asia in Manama, Bahrain. There is no better place to express my thanks for all those who place Service before self than sitting alongside those defending our country overseas.
The U.S. Coast Guard must be in lock-step with our Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and other interagency and international partners to be successful in “combating networks” – the first priority of the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy. These partnerships were at the forefront as The Interdiction Committee engaged with stakeholders in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia and Honduras last week.
Federal agencies and international partners are working tirelessly in the United States and abroad to combat Transnational Organized Crime networks. These efforts have been instrumental in eradicating production facilities and controlling the purchase of precursor chemicals used to make drugs; interrupting mobility corridors when illegal narcotics are being moved to stockpile locations; and integrating efforts to disrupt drug shipments and the distribution chain to impact the network itself.
This morning Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft signed the Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy. It addresses transnational threats and maritime challenges that threaten the security of our Nation, markets and oceans over the next 10 years. The Coast Guard is globally deployed, but our primary operating area remains in the Western Hemisphere. As we engage future challenges we must think strategically to best position our resources to leverage our unique authorities, capabilities and partnerships to achieve national objectives across the range of Coast Guard missions.
Today, we pause to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. As we remember loved ones who were taken too soon, we honor the strength and courage of those who carry on their legacy. From first responders on the day of the attacks to the first line of defense for our nation today, Coast Guard men and women remain a dedicated force in service to this great Nation.
The 2013 Sexual Assault Prevention Council Annual Report documents the dedicated work of the Council in addressing the problem of sexual assault across four cross-cutting themes, as laid out in the U.S Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017.