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.

Shown here is the the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award an interagency team received during a ceremony at U.S. Attorney's Office Middle District of Florida, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2016 for their efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking. The U.S. Attorney's Office Middle District of Florida and Operation Panama Express South (PANEX) form an interagency team that has investigated and prosecuted more than 60 cases from one of the most successful fiscal years in cocaine removal for the Coast Guard, which ran from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Tampa-based U.S. prosecutors, investigators

It would seem like once a Coast Guard crew interdicts illegal narcotics, the case is over, but that’s far from the truth. After the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton took positive control of a semi-submersible, July 6, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida and Operation Panama Express South investigated and prosecuted the drug traffickers. This Distinguished Public Service Award honors some of the highest levels of interagency coordination and cooperation we’ve seen across myriad U.S. and international entities in our nation’s whole-of-government effort to eradicate transnational organized crime networks.

A friend to all

One man has dedicated himself to helping disabled veterans. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Woitt, a food service specialist stationed at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Florida, has volunteered in promoting and coordinating numerous events through the VetSports program. This initiative is nationwide non-profit, whose goal is to use sports as a tool to re-integrate injured military members and veterans into society, as well as help redirect their focus from despair to camaraderie.

Dedication on display

Dedication on display

“In bootcamp, I was the colors team captain,” said Seaman Apprentice Courtney Gray. “For me, it’s always been something I’ve admired and respected even before I joined the Coast Guard. Our respect for the flag shows what kind of nation we are. It’s always been very dear to my heart.”

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: DC1 Robert Somers

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: DC1 Robert Somers

“I can relate to these guys on a personal level, dealing with mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety,” Somers said. “VETSports allows me to get together with brothers of the military who have been through traumatic experiences.”

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: BM2 Kyle Love

“His efforts to build each case improved safety on the water to support successful prosecution,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null, the operations petty officer at Coast Guard Station Marblehead.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Newton inspects a recently-cleaned .50 caliber machine gun aboard Cutter Beluga at Base Portsmouth, Va., Aug. 27, 2014. Beluga's crew was in port to prepare for an evening vessel escort. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn.

Week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014: Friday

Friday’s week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014 features a new response boat small in St. Petersburg, Florida, working in tight spaces at Station Seattle, gun inspections in Portsmouth, Va., local partnership training in Kodiak, Alaska and underway preparation on the Cutter Mako in Cape May, N.J.

Seaman Apprentice Andres Rodriguez, a crew member aboard Coast Guard Cutter Joshua Appleby, conducts hull maintenance on the Appleby in St. Petersburg, Fla., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. The Appleby is a 175-foot buoy tender home-ported in St. Petersburg. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Meredith Manning

Week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014: Tuesday

Tuesdays week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014 features the work of Aids to Navagation team members, we honor a fallen shipmate in Long Beach, California, inventory of a new boat in Florida, ID card making in Honolulu and good ol’ hull maintenance on the Cutter Appleby

Joseph Walker

The spirit of serving others

He spends his weekdays managing his own landscaping company and his weekends patrolling the waterways surrounding Jacksonville, Fla. Those are only two of the reasons why Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Walker is described as a dedicated and talented Coast Guard reservist. Walker, a maritime enforcement specialist, was recently selected as Sector Jacksonville’s reserve enlisted person of the year.

Shipmate of the Week – LCDR Neil Orlich

The facilities engineering division – a team of more than 30 – provides preventative and corrective maintenance support to the 72-acre facility, the Coast Guards largest operational unit, which includes two remote operating locations in Great Inagua and Andros Island, Bahamas. The facilities engineering division recently earned The Cowart Award, presented for outstanding contributions from a Coast Guard civil engineering and shore facility management program.

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