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.
Tradewinds, an annual Caribbean-focused exercise overseen by U.S. Southern Command, focuses on building and strengthening partnerships. The exercise helps nations better respond to natural disasters and land and maritime threats, including illicit trafficking.
The name “Coast Guard” can be a little deceiving. Many people don’t realize Coast Guardsmen are deployed around the world conducting a variety of military, law enforcement, regulatory and humanitarian missions. One of its most significant expeditionary missions is counter narcotics in the Western Hemisphere; more specifically, stopping drug smugglers in the “drug transit zones” of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin.
“Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.”
Commandant of the Coast Guard Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp recently visited the Kingdom of Bahrain for an annual visit to Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and to meet with key maritime partners.
The Warrior Games bring together more than 200 wounded, ill and injured service members from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as from international armed forces. The event includes competitions in archery, cycling, seated volleyball, shooting, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball. The goal of the Warrior Games isn’t necessarily to identify the most skilled athletes, but rather to demonstrate the incredible potential of wounded warriors through competitive sports.
Dismantling, removing and replacing a cutter’s main diesel engine is a job requiring teamwork, logistical coordination and planning under the best of circumstances. Replacing both engines at once doubles the complexity. Doing an unscheduled dual engine swap is a unique challenge the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Edisto and engineers from Sector San Diego recently tackled.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Washington recently visited Ulithi Atoll to deliver humanitarian supplies and teach locals about safe boating practices. Washington, a 110-foot patrol boat out of Guam, delivered rice, rainwater collectors, school books, clothing and outboard boat engines. These supplies were much needed on the small islands that make up the atoll, as the ship that normally delivers cargo to the atoll has been unable to make the voyage for almost a year due to mechanical problems.
Leading the charge to increase diversity within the Coast Guard, Lt. Cmdr. Rodriguez knows we are stronger as an organization because of our differences. Thanks to members like her, the Coast Guard is a vibrant, dynamic service branch that has consistently met every challenge put before it.
Closing out nearly 10 years of Coast Guard operations supporting Task Group 56.5 in the Northern Persian Gulf, the Coast Guard was released from its operational responsibilities providing security around Kuwait Naval Base. Shortly after a small ceremony, Sept. 24, Port Security Unit 309 flew halfway around the world to demobilize and return to their home base at Port Clinton, Ohio.