Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Bob Papp finished his recent international trip last week with an official visit to New Zealand. Like the other three countries on his itinerary, this visit was aimed at strengthening ties with partner maritime governance organizations and learning more about the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region.
I had the distinct honor this past week to represent the U.S. Coast Guard during an official visit to the Republic of Korea, hosted by Korea Coast Guard Commissioner General Kim Suk Kyoon. This was my third stop in a series of official visits to strengthen ties with partner maritime governance organizations and learn more about the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.
Adm. Papp toured the new Australian Customs and Border Protection Service patrol boat Cape St. George, visited Rescue Coordination Center Australia and received detailed briefings from the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Protection Command, a multi-agency task force that directs coordinated maritime governance operations.
The U.S. Coast Guard continued to expand U.S. ties to Vietnam last week with a visit by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, who became the first Commandant to visit as part of an official international outreach initiative. Over the past three years, the Coast Guard, in close coordination with the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, has been helping Vietnam to build their maritime governance capacity by providing training assistance to the Vietnam Marine Police. The VMP is a “Coast Guard-like” maritime law enforcement component within their Ministry of Defense, and will become the Vietnam Coast Guard next month.
Each year the Coast Guard presents the Commodore Ellsworth P. Bertholf Award to a member of Congress who exemplifies the spirit of Bertholf by making substantial contributions in support of the men and women of the United States Coast Guard and enhances the ability of the service to carry out its missions. This year’s recipient is Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp hosted Coast Guard senior leaders from the National Capital Region on June 17, 2013, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss and make decisions on major personnel issues facing the service.
One person who could be counted on in the months of rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy was Casey Van Huysen. Van Huysen, a native of Mobile, Ala., is the ombudsman at Sector New York. Van Huysen worked with other military spouses after Hurricane Sandy hit to collect more than $235,000 worth of donations including food, clothing and toys. The spouses received and organized the generous amount of items donated to give to military families who were uprooted during the storm.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other service chiefs testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee today on sexual assault prevention and response in the military.
Strengthening our partnerships is more important than ever before. Our nation is making difficult but necessary decisions to put our fiscal house in order and we may be asked to do less with less, or at least do the same work with different means. But the need for maritime governance continues in order to achieve our shared goals of safe transportation, clean seas, and secure and efficient movement of commerce. Working as partners we will navigate “uncertain and stormy seas” together.
Tomorrow, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp will release the U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Strategy to guide our efforts in the region over the next 10 years. This strategy is based on nearly 150 years of Coast Guard experience in maritime operations in the Arctic region, since the U.S. Revenue Cutter Lincoln first arrived in the new U.S. territory of Alaska in 1867.