The Long Blue Line: National Strike Force—the Guard’s global responder for 45 years!

The U.S. Coast Guard has been the steward of the nation’s maritime environment for nearly 200 years. As a vital component of the National Response System and homeland security mission, the National Strike Force minimizes the human and environmental impact of oil discharges, hazardous material releases, Weapons of Mass destruction (WMD) incidents, and other natural and man-made disasters. The National Strike Force remains Semper Paratus, “always ready,” to expand and adapt its mission to ever-changing natural and man-made threats to the nation and its environment. The National Strike Force remains “Ready Relevant and Responsive” for any hazard, any place.


U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schutlz, Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould, and Reserve Force Master Chief Petty Officer George Williamson pose for a photo at the Enlisted Person of the Year award ceremony in Washington, D.C., April 25, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould

The Coast Guard recognized Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Gould as the 2018 Enlisted Person of the Year for the Reserve Component. Gould is a boatswain’s mate with Port Security Unit 311 out of San Pedro, Calif., and is an inveterate volunteer in his professional and personal life.


Chief Petty Officer Paul Taylor, a marine science technician, oversees vessel operations at Pitts Bayou in Panama City, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Krug.

Clean-up crew: Facing aftermath from one of Florida’s most destructive hurricanes

The Florida Panhandle experienced pure devastation from Hurricane Michael, Oct. 10, 2018. It ripped through coastal towns and made its way inland, driving people from their homes and leaving thousands without power and fresh water. Relief efforts from federal and state agencies, as well as local and out-of-state volunteers, responded to help displaced survivors. The Coast Guard set up an Incident Command Post in Miramar Beach, Florida, in an effort to remove environmental threats from local waterways.


Active shooter training conducted at Training Center Petaluma

Thirty-two participants representing 12 different local, state, and federal agencies including active duty and Reserve Coast Guard members trained together at Training Center Petaluma in late October to hands-on field training and scenario-based practical exercises on active shooter incidents. Active shooter situations are all too common in American society today and this training is meant to help those first responders stay prepared and ready.


BM3 Chriafisi-Boyd (Station Channel Islands), BM3 David Vela, and BM3 Dax Chacon (both of Station LA/LB), join forces to fine-tune the details of a textbook drifting search pattern.

Station Los Angeles/Long Beach Reservists embrace commandant’s guiding principles

On the southern tip of Los Angeles Harbor’s Terminal Island, after driving through two-mile sea of stacked containers and straight through the center of a federal correctional institution’s fence-lined campus, you will find Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/Long Beach. From the base, you will find scenic views of San Pedro, Los Angeles Harbor and the busy channel that borders the west side of Terminal Island. Among the Coast Guard units, you will find Station LA/LB. In July, Senior Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Bernice had an opportunity to spend a few days with the station’s 25 reservists during their two weeks of active duty training.


A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew lands at a softball field at a Coast Guard housing facility in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Sept. 22, 2017. The housing facility was used for Coast Guard personnel to shelter in place for Hurricane Maria and some operations were based there as damages were repaired to the Coast Guard base Sector San Juan, which is adjacent to San Juan harbor in Puerto Rico. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Zach Zubricki.

Surviving Hurricane Maria

The U.S. Coast Guard members who work at Sector San Juan had already been hit with Hurricane Irma but just two weeks later, they had to relocate and hunker down 10 miles away at Bayamon while Hurricane Maria wrought even more destruction to the island of Puerto Rico. Weeks later, those same member worked tirelessly to rebuild and become operational again.


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Aidalis Mills

Aidalis Mills has been a civil servant at the 9th Coast Guard District for over 20 years. As the Coast Guard Reserve funds manager for the 9th District, Mills’ job is to execute funding associated with reserve affairs for over 450 reservists across the district. She is also the Hispanic Emphasis program manager, a member of the Leadership and Diversity Advisory Committee, a Defense Finance and Accounting Service committee member and a volunteer within the community. Her selfless service has earned her the 2018 George R. Putnam Inspirational Leadership award. Read more to find out what inspires this inspirational leader.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Minnes and his father, both New Jersey state troopers pose for a photo together. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Minnes.

Off-duty trooper and reservist improvises rescue

A Coast Guard Reserve petty officer was hailed as a hero in early March after saving an accident victim on the Atlantic City Expressway in Gloucester Township, New Jersey. Minnes, a New Jersey state trooper, pulled a man to safety and provided emergency medical assistance to save the man’s life earning him the gratitude of survivor, the governor of New Jersey and the Winslow Fire Department.


Senior Chief Petty Officer Marilyn Dufrat (center), a victim's advocate, shows off her award with her senior reserve officer, Cmdr. Maureen Kallgren.

Victims advocate receives state award

Senior Chief Petty Officer Marilyn Dufrat was awarded the Unsung Hero Award from Attorney General of Virginia Mark Herring at the attorney general’s office in Richmond, Virginia, on April 12, 2018. Dufrat has been the manager of the victim-support program for the last 16 years. Her staff offers information and services to victims and witnesses with the goal of reducing confusion during what can be a complicated, lengthy ordeal.


Photo courtesy of Lt. Waymando Brown.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Waymando Brown

Lt. Waymando Brown is the 2018 Coast Guard Reserve recipient of the Capt. John G. Witherspoon Inspirational Leadership Award. Brown, the shore side division security officer for Coast Guard Port Security Unit 308 in Kiln, Mississippi, led his team through the difficult operations in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.


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