Eagle 75: Seizing opportunity

Coast Guard Cutter Eagle trainees and crew arrived in London, England, Friday and are making the most of their time in port by conducting training and working on maintenance projects. According to Eagle’s Facebook page, today some cadets are going into the rig to practice setting and dousing sails, others are learning how to fill out navigation data logs or doing damage control training, and those cadets not training are working on various shipboard projects and helping to prepare meals. The ship’s next stop on Eagle’s 75th anniversary summer training cruise is Reykjavik, Iceland.

Stay tuned to Compass to follow the ship’s journey.

Helmsman training

Seaman Christian Clark (right), of Niagara Falls, N.Y., trains Coast Guard cadets while aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle in London June 13, 2011. Clark is a permanent crewman aboard the Eagle and trained cadets to stand watch as a helmsman. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Written by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi, public affairs specialist aboard Eagle.

The cadets and crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle were all set to depart their temporary port in London on Monday and set sail to Iceland. That was the plan anyhow, but a faulty gyroscope changed the sailing plan to a training plan.

The gyroscope is responsible for updating numerous shipboard systems, including radar, navigation and communication systems. When it broke, the piece of equipment was declared too valuable to sail without.

Correcting charts

(Left to right) First Class Cadets Samuel Galli, of Cupertino, Calif., Chris Bodner, of Branford, Conn., and Jamie Wright, of Clarksboro, N.J., make corrections to a nautical chart June 15, 2011. The cadets are preparing to sail to Reykjavik, Iceland, for the next port of call during the cutter’s 2011 summer training cruise commemorating the ship’s 75th anniversary. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi.

Taking the time which would have been spent underway, the Eagle’s permanent crew took the opportunity to train the 115 cadets while moored at the pier.

During the course of the 2011 Summer Training Cruise, cadets undergo numerous training evolutions and get qualified to perform certain jobs aboard the ship, such as watchstander, helmsman, quartermaster of the watch (navigation), officer of the deck and oiler, among others. These qualifications help prepare the cadets to be future Coast Guard officers, giving them knowledge and experience in all aspects of shipboard life.

This role of training the cadets falls on the 54 members of the permanent crew.

Seaman Amy Halperin, an Eagle crew member, used the day to train cadets on the principles of navigation. She said being a member of the permanent crew means also being a mentor.

Standing the helm

Third Class Cadet Emily Trudeau, of Cumberland, R.I., turns the helm during a training session aboard Eagle in London June 13, 2011. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi.

“My job is to train the cadets the fundamentals of sailing and what it takes to be out at sea,” Halperin said. “My role is also to be a good mentor – to be someone who is the example of a good enlisted person and a Coast Guardsman.”

“The permanent crewmembers do a vast majority of the training,” said Lt. Jeff Janaro, the operations officer aboard the ship. “I can’t overstate how valuable they are as teachers.”

A Coast Guard adage, “adapt and overcome,” certainly played out for the crew and cadets aboard the Eagle. Until a replacement gyroscope arrives, the crew of the Eagle will continue to take their port opportunity in London to further the training and education of the cadets before getting underway to Iceland.

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