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Author Topic: Coast Guard News  (Read 259548 times)
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« Reply #1125 on: November 29, 2009, 12:35:25 pm »



Press Release
Date: November 28, 2009
Contact:  District 14

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Kukui returns to home port after
five-month maintenance period in the Bay Area, Nov. 28, 2009




HONOLULU — The day after Thanksgiving, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Kukui, home ported here in Honolulu, returned home after spending five months in San Francisco for a major maintenance overhaul.

The Kukui's crew was met at the pier late Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, by family members and fellow Guardians.
In June, the crew departed Honolulu on a 2,200-mile trip to San Francisco, beginning a 169-day effort to complete vital maintenance to the cutter and preserve its readiness to patrol the Pacific. The Kukui is one of three buoy tenders assigned to 14th District waters.

This maintenance involved more than 130 contracted work items as well as 30 projects completed by the ship’s crew. During the arduous period, the crew lived aboard the ship, frequently worked long shifts, provided "24/7 oversight" of contracted work, and completed numerous ship’s force projects.

While in San Francisco, Kukui's crewmembers integrated themselves with the local community. They participated in three major community service events while in maintenance, such as clean-ups of local beaches, volunteer work at the San Francisco Zoo, and service at the San Francisco Food Bank. Additionally, crewmembers participated in more than a dozen local activities to include half-marathons and other local sporting events. These activities provided a valuable outlet away from the daily grind of the dry-dock for the crew.

The Coast Guard wasted no time in returning the crew and the cutter back to operational status. On the first day of the journey home, while passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, the crew of Kukui received a distress call from a disabled vessel in danger of grounding on rocks in heavy seas.

Crewmembers located the vessel, prepared a small boat for launch, and was able to direct a nearby Coast Guard rescue boat to the distressed vessel in time to tow it to safety.

Kukui is a 225-foot buoy tender, with a crew of 49, based at Sand Island. The crew of Kukui patrols the Hawaiian Islands, Central and Western Pacific, protecting U.S. interests by maintaining maritime aids to navigation, conducting maritime law enforcement, homeland security, marine environmental protection, and search and rescue operations.
 
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« Reply #1126 on: December 01, 2009, 10:36:44 am »



News Release
Date: November 23, 2009
Contact:  District 7

Three Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville
units awarded for meritorious service



Rear Adm. Steve Branham above left, commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, hands a coin to Chief Petty Officer Robert E. Lehmann, officer in charge, Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Jacksonville Beach, Fla.  In the photo above right Rear Adm. Steve Branham speaks to Station Mayport, Fla., crewmembers at Sector Jacksonville, Nov. 23, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cindy Beckert.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Three Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville units were awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Nov. 23, 2009, at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.

Rear Adm. Steve Branham, commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, presented the three Meritorious Unit Commendations. The commendation is awarded to any unit of the U.S. Coast Guard which has distinguished itself by either valorous or meritorious achievement or service in support Coast Guard operations.

Recipients of the commendation are Aids to Navigation Team Jacksonville Beach, Fla., the construction tender Hammer, and Station Mayport, Fla.

ANT Jacksonville Beach and the Hammer crewmembers received the commendations for meritorious service from April 2009 to July 2009 while  working in partnership to conduct aids to navigation operations on a light range in the St. Johns River. Guardians replaced  a discrepant navigational aid that is considered the most critical by bar pilots navigating deep draft ships into the port of Jacksonville.

The commitment, risk management and ingenuity employed by the two units saved the Coast Guard significant time, money and effort and quickly provided mariners with a critical aid to safely navigate commercial vessels through the jetties at the entrance of the St. Johns River.

Station Mayport crewmembers received the commendation for overall excellence in ports, waterways, and coastal security, including conducting more than 1,208 security patrols between October 2006 and October 2009. In addition, Station Mayport crewmembers provided critical waterside security to over 88 military outload vessels transporting nearly four million square feet of essential military cargo and provided force protection for 80 submarine movements.

For more information about the aids to navigation project in the St. Johns River please click the link below
Coast Guard reignites the light that guides

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« Reply #1127 on: December 02, 2009, 11:20:44 am »



News Release
Date: December 01, 2009
Contact:  District 11

Chase commanding
officer marries aboard cutter




SAN DIEGO — Capt. Gregory J. Sanial married Eva Habetinova in a small wedding ceremony in the Captain's Cabin onboard Coast Guard Cutter Chase in San Diego Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 24, 2009. Lt. Leroy Young, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy officiated the wedding.

Sanial has been the commanding officer of the Chase since June 2009. Habetinova is a petroleum engineer working in Houston. They met when they were both graduate students at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Weddings performed onboard Coast Guard cutters are quite rare. However, the shipboard wedding continues a sea going tradition in Sanial's family. His two daughters, Sydney and Alexandra, who participated in the wedding, were both baptized aboard Coast Guard cutters. Sydney was baptized aboard Coast Guard Cutter Attu in San Juan, P. R., and Alexandra was baptized aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle in New London, Conn.

In addition to the Chase, Sanial has commanded three other Coast Guard cutters. He commanded Coast Guard Cutter Forward homeported in Portsmouth, Va., the Attu homeported in San Juan, P.R., and Coast Guard Cutter Point Whitehorn homeported in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. He also has served as executive officer of Coast Guard Cutter Dependable homeported in Cape May, N.J., and aboard Coast Guard Cutter Confidence homeported  in Port Canaveral, Fla.

The Chase is a 378-foot high endurance cutter with 170 officers and crew who conduct deployments in areas ranging from the Bering Sea to the coast of South America. Chase has continued to serve the nation by performing the full array of Coast Guard missions.  Like all Coast Guard units, conducting search and rescue and the protection of the homeland though law enforcement are a priority for the Chase.

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« Reply #1128 on: December 02, 2009, 11:51:24 am »



Photo Release
Date: December 01, 2009
Contact:  District 11

Coast Guard grants
cancer patient's wish


   

SAN FRANCISCO — Commander Samuel Creech, commanding officer of Air Station San Francisco, helps Luis Castillo, a child living with cancer, put on a flight jacket given to him by the crew of the air station, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009. Castillo flew in an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter as part of a request made through the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts organization. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Pamela J. Manns


LEFT CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO

In the photo above right the crew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco waves at an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter that flies by with Luis Castillo, a child living with cancer, aboard, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009. Oakland Firefighters Random Acts Organization arranged the helicopter flight at Castillo's request. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Pamela J. Manns

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« Reply #1129 on: December 02, 2009, 12:05:27 pm »



News Release
Date: December 01, 2009
Contact:  District 17

Hurricane winds, winter storm hits
remote Coast Guard station in Aleutian Chain



ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The crew of Coast Guard’s Long-Range Navigation (LORAN) Station in Attu, is digging out after a weekend storm pounded the island with wind gusts of 178 mph and more than a one and a half feet of snow, Nov. 28-29.

The storm which brought sustained winds of 125 mph or category three hurricane winds and gusts that equal some of the strongest winds of a category five hurricane slammed into the island causing damage to the LORAN station with a communications antenna breaking from three of its securing mounts. The crew of the station has been busy making repairs and has spent more than 100 hours on snow removal.

The winter wind storm arrived Saturday afternoon with the winds gradually growing to such a state that all personnel were restricted to the main building.

"This high of a wind is fairly abnormal for us," said Chief Petty Officer Brad Schlenpitz the executive petty officer of the station, and a Jacksonville, Fla. native. "I arrived here last January, and this is the first time I have experienced anything like this."

The LORAN station stayed operational throughout the storm.

LORAN Station Attu is located at the western-most edge of the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. With twenty active duty personnel stationed there as a one year assignment.

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« Reply #1130 on: December 02, 2009, 01:20:44 pm »



Coast Guard raises the safety
flag with crab vessel inspections

Dungeness crab season opens today

By DEEDA SCHROEDER
The Daily Astorian


In the photo above left Mike Banks, owner of the Alexa B, helps Rear Adm. Gary Blore, left, U.S. Coast Guard’s commanding officer for the 13th Coast Guard District, during Operation Safe Crab, a coordinated effort to ramp up safety before the fleet heads out for the season opener today. Above, Lt. j.g. Joe Miller, fisheries enforcement officer for Coast Guard Group Astoria, assists with the spot check at the Warrenton Marina.  In the photo above right Derrick Ray, owner of the 78-foot fishing boat Northern Endurance, looks through safety records on the bridge during last week’s impromptu inspection for the Coast Guard’s Operation Safe Crab. Ray went out Monday night to be in position for the opening day of Dungeness crab fishing season, which begins today. In the background, Capt. Doug Kaup, commanding officer of Coast Guard Group/Air Station Astoria, looks on. (Photos by ALEX PAJUNAS — The Daily Astorian.)

DAILY ASTORIAN VIDEO

WARRENTON — As Rear Adm. Gary Blore, commander of the 13th U.S. Coast Guard District, looked over Derrick Ray's shoulder into the gray of the Warrenton Marina, he could see the deck of Ray's 78-foot schooner Northern Endurance, stacked with crab pots, dripping with the relentless rain.

But the two were dry inside, standing next to Ray's captain's chair as Ray pointed out many of the boat's features - from its engine to its electronic navigation system.

Then Blore asked about the view from Ray's familiar corner of the bridge when his 3-year-old fishing vessel is underway.

"Can you see everyone working on deck?" Blore wondered.

"That's what I love about schooners," Ray said. "You can protect the crew, you can keep an eye on them, you can see everything they're doing."

Last week, Blore and a small Coast Guard entourage visited the Warrenton Marina as part of the Coast Guard's Operation Safe Crab, demonstrating just how much the Coast Guard cares about protecting Ray and his crew. The team spot-checked commercial fishing vessels, ramping up safety before the start of the Dungeness crab fishing season today. The undertaking is meant to save lives in what has become one of the most lethal occupations in the country, Blore said.

Fisheries jobs are about 200 times as dangerous as other industrial work, he said, but crab fishermen face much worse odds.

"Within fisheries, crab fishing is by far the most dangerous - about seven times the injury rate of fishing on average. So, that's why we're very concerned about the industry," Blore said. As both regulators of maritime law and lifesavers, the Coast Guard is in a unique position to be able to act to prevent some of those lives from being lost in the future, he said.

"We would frankly rather regulate than save lives," Blore said.

And even while readying for what may be a very profitable season, Ray wasn't complaining about unexpected guests just a few days before setting out his crab pots on Saturday in time for opening day. Looking back, meeting Blore wasn't nearly as stressful as he thought it would be, he said.

"I'm glad he could see my boat. He's a guy with a job to do and he's doing it well," Ray said.

With healthy prices set and the season starting on time, it didn't take long for Ray to think about the work to be done and the buyers on the other end.

"I just want the consumer, too, to keep buying crab. With the economy the way it is, people are only going to spend so much on those little extras."

Deadly but profitable

The Dungeness crab fishery is the most valuable commercial fishery on the Oregon Coast - last season's harvest produced 13 million pounds and an 'ex-vessel' value of $26 million.

With healthy, meaty crabs and a solid price of $1.75 per pound negotiated for the first three days of the season, early indications show another above average harvest for Oregon's crab industry this year.

Legislation passed in 2003 allows for Oregon Crab Marketing Associations and the state's seafood processors to meet under state supervision to discuss and set the opening price. The collective bargaining process has been used for seven consecutive years and has been successful in brokering a price agreement and an 'on time' start in five of those years.

Additionally, crab tested in late October and early November by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission exceeded the minimum 'meat fill' requirements used by the state to insure that quality standards are met when the annual crab harvest gets underway.

For Warrenton-based crab fisherman John Corbin, that meant heading out Saturday to set his pots to pull up in the wee hours this morning. He and his crew will join about 325 Oregon vessels, and another 200 from Washington, to take advantage of the first few moments of the season. Once it starts, they'll all be bringing in as much as they can hold, he said.

"That's a lot of boats. At midnight-o-one they'll all be slammin' in some crab," Corbin said Monday afternoon.

As a commissioner with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and a member of the Oregon State Department of Fish and Wildlife advisory board, Corbin understands why Oregon's crab fishery has recently been dubbed the next "deadliest catch." Derby fishing is the standard off the Oregon Coast, allowing fisherman to fill their holds again and again no matter what the conditions - good or bad.

"Everyone wants to make hay while the sun shines. And even when the wind starts to blow, you want to stay out longer and longer," he said. Elsewhere, weather can keep boats in port, Corbin said. Staying out, despite treacherous weather, is what puts fishermen at greater risk.

Now that Oregon has earned its grisly reputation, Corbin is thankful that the Coast Guard has stepped up its enforcement and inspection of safety rules over the last few years.

"We've become the worst of the worst, and that means we need some help," he said.

Blore said if locals have noticed a more intense focus on safety from the Coast Guard's fisheries enforcement teams recently, it's because even one life lost is too many.

"If they feel the Coast Guard is concerned about safety and emphasizing that more, that's reasonably accurate. (We) will maintain an emphasis on it for the indefinite future."

Safety a top concern

Ray's voluntary dockside exam was an abbreviated version of a full inspection, which happens every two years, said Lt. Comdr. Ray Cain, a senior marine inspector stationed in Astoria, who joined Blore during the Safe Crab exams. When the Coast Guard is out conducting fisheries enforcement at sea, they'll be looking for a sticker that shows a dockside exam occurred, he said. Often, that documentation can save fishermen hours of valuable time, Cain said.

"When they see a vessel with a decal, they may elect not to view that boat," he said. 

While Coast Guard inspections help, they can't be there every minute to keep emergency gear in working order and available, Ray said. "It's up to the individual fisherman to look out for himself," Ray said.

As Blore and his team looked over the Northern Endurance's survival suits, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs,) and life rafts to ensure that these critical safety items are ready for use should an emergency occur at sea, Ray reflected on his track record of injuries onboard so far.

"In my 28 years of running boats, I've had one guy get four stitches, and a few cuts and bruises other than that," he said.

Similar safety checks in previous years found that between one-quarter and one-third of EPIRBs and life rafts are installed improperly. Most of these deficiencies are easy to correct. Extremely serious discrepancies, such as overloading, lack of watertight integrity, missing primary lifesaving equipment, or nonfunctioning EPIRBs can result in a vessel being restricted from operating until the problems are corrected, but during Ray's 20 minute check, no issues surfaced.

That safety record is a matter of pride as well as self-preservation, Ray said.

"I just love what I do. I want to keep doing it for the rest of my life."

Corbin, too, clearly has a passion for his work, evident as he paused Monday afternoon to describe what the view would look like from Astoria after the sun went down and many fishermen were crossing the bar to go pull up their pots.

"You'll see a sea of lights, a massive sea of yellow sodium lights flickering everywhere," Corbin said.

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« Reply #1131 on: December 03, 2009, 01:13:58 pm »



Request for Backup in Cracking
Down on Great Lakes Invaders

Laura Thornquist
December 3, 2009


Zebra mussels on the shores on northern Michigan beaches

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Six Minnesota environmental groups want the U.S. Coast Guard to adopt tougher national standards for ships on the Great Lakes in order to stop the spread of harmful invasive species. A new aquatic invader is discovered in the Great Lakes every six to nine months. A recent discovery is the zebra mussel, which, among others, is blamed for altering lakes and river ecosystems and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year. The Guard is considering new rules to require ocean-going ships entering waterways to disinfect ballast water tanks, but the groups want the rules sooner.

Matt Norton, staff attorney for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, says invasive species spread from lakes into streams and rivers and, once established, never go away.

"We're sitting here in Minnesota right next to ten percent of the world's freshwater; try to put a price tag on that. We have to protect this, not just for the dollar value, but because it's so important. Anything that gets into Lake Superior will make its way into our inland rivers and lakes."

Water is very valuable, says Norton, and the cost for dealing with the zebra mussel alone is more than $200 million every year. Prevention would be much more cost-effective, he adds.

"We have technology today that can do a thousand times better than the standard that the Coast Guard is proposing. Now, we want to see the Guard make their rule at least one hundred times stronger, in the near term."

Ocean vessels are supposed to flush or exchange their ballast in open seas, but they aren't currently required to disinfect ballast tanks. The proposed disinfection rule would be phased in, beginning 2014, while some shipping companies have raised concerns about the cost. The Coast Guard is taking public comments on the rule through Friday.

The groups issuing the call are Clean Water Action, Izaak Walton League of America-Minnesota Division, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Save Lake Superior Association and the Minnesota Council of Trout Unlimited. Comments may be submitted on-line at www.regulations.gov and must include the docket number USCG-2001-10486.

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« Reply #1132 on: December 04, 2009, 05:54:19 pm »



News Release
Date: December 03, 2009
Contact:  District 13

Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea
returns from Arctic deployment




SEATTLE — The crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea returneed to their homeport here Thursday, after a three-month Arctic deployment.  

During the deployment, the crew traveled over 11,500 miles and spent 60 days north of the Arctic Circle in support of scientific operations.

Polar Sea departed Seattle on Aug. 24, 2009 to conduct their first deployment solely dedicated to science in over ten years.  During the deployment the crew conducted two science phases, including the first at-sea polar bear study.  Both science phases were designed to examine impacts of climate change on the environment.

The first phase took place over the course of 12 days in mid-September and involved 34 scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) led by Dr. Richard Coffin, Chief Scientist, NRL Chemistry Division.  The scientists met the cutter off of Barrow, Alaska and conducted coring operations, to study sediment composition.  They also were involved in taking water samples to study temperature, salinity, and levels of oxygen at varying depths.

Dr. Coffin said the Methane in the Arctic Shelf expedition is an international collaboration to investigate methane hydrates and the relationship to climate change and new energy.  Scientists from university and government research agencies from the U.S., Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Canada have combined expertise on this survey that was planned from shallow near-shore waters over permafrost methane hydrates to offshore deep sediment deposits.

“This project is intended to initiate long term collaboration in future expeditions in the Beaufort Sea and other regions of the Arctic Ocean.” Said Dr. Coffin.

The second phase ran from September 26 through November 1 and was the first study of polar bears from a vessel.  This cruise, comprised of 24 scientists from the National Science Foundation (NSF), traveled with the Polar Sea’s crew north of Barrow as they searched for polar bears.  The main focus was the recapture of polar bears tagged with radio collars in the spring and to follow the retreating ice edge north.  Seventeen polar bears were successfully captured and sampled, providing invaluable data and setting a baseline for future research.  The study revealed groundbreaking data as a result of being able to examine polar bears in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

Included in this group of NSF scientists was a team of research divers from the University of Alaska who conducted 38 research dives for the purpose of investigating the biological diversity of Arctic sea ridges in comparison to flat sea ice.  Dive operations and ice coring were the main methods utilized to retrieve organisms, ice and water from submerged sea ridges. Also aboard was a marine mammal and sea bird observer from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who studied marine mammal and sea bird distribution relative to oceanographic and biological features in the Beaufort Sea.

On the return trip south, crewmembers participated in a community outreach program in Juneau, Alaska.  There, 40 crewmembers spent two days assisting in painting projects and cooking and serving breakfast at a local food kitchen.

This is the second time within the last two years that crewmembers aboard the Polar Sea earned an Arctic Service Medal, which is awarded for operations lasting longer than 21 days above the Arctic Circle.

Polar Sea was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle.  Commissioned in 1978, the Polar Seahas operated around the globe and is designed to perform science, icebreaking, and all Coast Guard missions in both Polar Regions.  With a reinforced hull and up to 75,000 horsepower, the cutter can break up to 21 feet of ice, or 6 feet of ice at a continuous speed of 3 knots.  Polar Seacan carry two helicopters for science and logistics support.  Berthing is available for approximately 150 crewmembers, and as many as 35 scientists and technicians.  Polar Seais equipped as a scientific platform with five internal laboratories and space for an additional seven portable laboratories on deck.  Computers onboard have the capability to process real-time satellite images to aid in ice navigation, science planning, and weather forecasting.

The ship's icebreaking capabilities allow the crew to perform logistics, search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and enforcement of laws and treaties in places most ships cannot reach.

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« Reply #1133 on: December 06, 2009, 04:37:30 pm »



News Release
Date: December 05, 2009
Contact:  District 7

Coast Guard small boat and
commercial catamaran collide




CHARLESTON, S.C. — A 25-foot Coast Guard small boat and the Thriller, a 43-passanger power catamaran, collided in Charleston Harbor Saturday at approximately 8:21 p.m.

The Coast Guard small boat was reported to be transiting the channel while Thriller was crossing the channel when the collision occured.

A 41-foot Coast Guard utility boat crew from Station Charleston evacuated the 24 passengers who were on Thriller and transported them to Charleston Harbor Marina to awaiting emergency medical personnel.

There were three reported injuries to Thriller passengers. The extent of injuries are unknown.

“The Coast Guard’s primary concern right now is the condition of the passengers who were injured in the incident," said Capt. Michael F. McAllister, commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston.  

The Coast Guard vessel reportedly attained no damage and Thriller is reported to have sustained moderate above the water-line damage.

Conditions at the time of the incident were clear with winds at 10 to 15 mph.

The incident is under investigation.
 
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« Reply #1134 on: December 07, 2009, 05:53:31 pm »



News Release
Date: December 03, 2009
Contact:  District 9

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw
continues Christmas Ship tradition


   

CHICAGO — The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB 30), acting as the “Christmas Tree Ship”, is scheduled to arrive at Chicago’s Navy Pier for a two-day event, starting Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 at 8 a.m. to distribute Christmas trees to more than a thousand families in need. 

The distribution of the holiday trees to trucks from community organizations will begin off the decks of “Chicago’s Christmas Ship,” the USCGC MACKINAW, on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 10 a.m., after the first three trees are given to three families during the brief public ceremony.

Tours of the USCGC Mackinaw will also be available on Dec. 4 - 5 from 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Mackinaw will arrive loaded with 1,500 Christmas trees purchased by Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee to be distributed to disadvantaged families throughout the Chicago area. The Mackinaw’s reenactment continues a treasured part of Chicago’s maritime tradition.

 
A member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and members of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw help offload Christmas trees at the Navy Pier in downtown Chicago Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. The Coast Guard Cutter Macknaw delivered more than 1,000 Christmas trees from northern Michigan for Chicago-area needy familes in cooperation with the Chicago Christmas Tree Ship Committee and several charitable organizations. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer Bill Colclough)

The Rouse Simmons was the original “Christmas Tree Ship” that came to Chicago with fresh evergreens and wreaths for holiday season during the early 1900’s. Rouse Simmons was a three masted schooner and was recognized by the Christmas tree tied to her mast as she entered port. The Simmons was the principal means of bringing Christmas trees to Chicago for over 30 years.

Chicago’s boating community reenactment of the olden days of the Rouse Simmons landing in Chicago is now portrayed by the Mackinaw. The trees will be taken off the Mackinaw by local youth volunteers, the Sea Cadets, Venture Crews, Sea Explorer Scouts and the Young Marines and loaded onto trucks for distribution by Ada S. McKinley Community Services.


The Chicago Christmas Ship, AKA the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB-30) arrives at Chicago’s Navy Pier to deliver Christmas trees to needy Chicago-area families. The crew of the Mackinaw brings the trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin for distribution to more than a thousand disadvantaged families. The Chicago Christmas Ship Committee, which purchased the trees, represents diverse aspects of the Chicago boating community such as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, International Shipmaster's Association and the Chicago Yachting Association.  (Photo by Tony Gadomski, USCGAUX.)

The "Chicago's Christmas Ship" Committee is comprised of and supported by all facets of the Chicago’s boating community: the International Shipmasters’ Association, Chicago Marine Heritage Society, US Navy League, Chicago yacht clubs, Friends of the Marine Community, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Chicago Yachting Association.

Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee will also host educational programs for local area schools aboard the Mackinaw. More than 300 children from the Chicago area will learn about the role of the Coast Guard, the “Christmas Tree Ship” tradition, observe a Sea Partners ecology presentation and experience a ship tour by Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The Mackinaw replaced the original icebreaker, which served the Great Lakes since 1944, and was donated for use as a maritime museum located in Mackinaw City, Mich. This ship, which is home to a crew of 60, was built in Marinette, Wisconsin and commissioned in June 2006. It is one of the Coast Guard’s most technologically advanced multi-missioned cutters.  In addition to its primary ice breaking and aids to navigation missions, the Mackinaw also performs search and rescue and maritime law enforcement.

The Mackinaw’s arrival is a culmination of efforts by the Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee, working together with the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Sea Partners Program, Chicago Navy Pier, private individuals, and the hard working generous boaters of the marine community to help make Christmas special for Chicago's families in need.

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« Reply #1135 on: December 07, 2009, 06:31:04 pm »



News Release
Date: December 07, 2009
Contact:  District 11

Coast Guard Island hosts Pearl
Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony




VIDEO OF CEREMONY

COAST GUARD ISLAND, ALAMEDA, Calif. —  The U.S. Coast Guard hosted the annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Ceremony on Coast Guard Island today, Dec. 7, 2009 at 9 a.m.

Veterans and military members from all services joined to commemorate fellow Americans who gave their lives and fought
for the United States during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941, and to pay tribute to present-day heroes.

This year marks the 68th anniversary of the attack on Hawaii.

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« Reply #1136 on: December 07, 2009, 06:41:22 pm »



News Release
Date: December 07, 2009
Contact:  District 5

Coast Guard participates in Pearl Harbor
Remembrance Day ceremony in Virginia Beach




VIDEO OF CEREMONY

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. —  Members of the Tidewater chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association above left stand and sing "God Bless America" during the annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Memorial at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. The monument, dedicated May 30, 1990, lists the names of 192 known survivors who resided in the Hampon Roads area at the time of the dedication. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones)

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Wayne E. Justice speaks at the annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Memorial at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. The guest speaker for the ceremony is chosen on a rotating basis from each of the U.S. armed services every year. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones)

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« Reply #1137 on: December 08, 2009, 04:18:05 pm »



News Release
Date: December 04, 2009
Contact:  District 8

CBP Launches the New Predator B Guardian UAS
New Maritime Unmanned Aircraft System Unveiled


Thomas Cassidy, Jr. President of the Aircraft Systems group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (left) shakes hands with Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen (center) and Michael Kostelink, Assistant Commisioner, Office of Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine during a cerimony unveiling the prototype of the marine variant of the Predator B unmanned aircraft system. USCG Photo by CWO Scott Epperson.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) took delivery Monday of the first maritime variant of the Predator B unmanned aircraft system (UAS). At a ceremony in Palmdale, California, CBP, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and General Atomics Aeronatuical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) unveiled the prototype maritime variant Predator B, known as Guardian.

To support future mission requirements, CBP in partnership with the Coast Guard in a joint program office, is exploring this maritime variant of its Predator B UAS to increase reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting acquisition capabilities in maritime operating environments.  For this purpose, GA-ASI, the manufacturer of the Predator B UAS, modified a CBP Predator B aircraft to become the Guardian.

“The Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System has proven its value to homeland security over the nation’s land borders, the Great Lakes region, and in support of DHS hurricane and flood response operations,” said Michael Kostelnik, Assistant Commissioner for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine. “With the introduction of the Guardian, maritime variant of the Predator B, DHS now has a powerful tool and force multiplier to increase maritime domain awareness and confront threats to our borders.”

The Guardian has been modified from a standard Predator B with structural, avionics, and communications enhancements, as well as the addition of a Raytheon SeaVue Marine Search Radar and an Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor that is optimized for maritime operations.

The Guardian is expected to be ready for Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) in early 2010.   This OT&E will be conducted jointly by CBP and USCG from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.  After the Guardian completes operational testing this spring, it will be deployed to the drug source and transit zones to support joint counter-narcotics operations.

In 2008, CBP and the USCG formed a UAS Joint Program Office to identify and address common maritime UAS requirements, including sensors, command and control, data exploitation, logistics and training, and basing.

"I am proud of our partnership with Customs and Border Protection to develop the maritime version of the Predator B," said Adm. Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.  "An unmanned aircraft system is a significant and needed force multiplier that will help us counter threats like narcotics and migrant smuggling, terrorism, and piracy in the vast expanses of the maritime domain.  The collaborative work between Coast Guard and CBP officers at the Joint Program Office has been outstanding and we're seeing the results here today."

In the Southeast Coastal Border Region of the United States and drug source and transit zones, CBP plans to use the Guardian to conduct long-range surveillance in support of joint counter-narcotics operations, where maritime radar is necessary to detect a variety of threats.

In the future, at the Northern Border, the Guardian will allow CBP to conduct surveillance of the Great Lakes, creating a more comprehensive picture of activity in this expansive maritime environment, and give law enforcement a more accurate tool to use in sorting illegal activity from legitimate activity.

CBP first employed the Predator B in support of law enforcement operations on the Southwest Border in 2005 and along the Northern Border in 2009. CBP operates three Predator Bs from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and two more from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota.  UAS operations will continue to expand in 2010.  By 2015, OAM expects to employ the Predator B throughout the border regions with command and control from a network of UAS ground control stations across the country.

Built by General Atomics Aeronautical Aviation, CBP Air & Marine’s new MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System will support air and marine crews and Border Patrol agents charged with securing the border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
 
To read a Feature Story on the USCG Predator B  Click HERE

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« Reply #1138 on: December 08, 2009, 04:27:02 pm »



News Release
Date: December 08, 2009
Contact:  District 1

Cape Cod Air Station
crews offer holiday help




BOURNE, Mass. — Personnel from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod participated in several holiday charity drives to help the local Cape Cod community as well as fellow service members who are currently deployed overseas.

Coast Guard members traveled throughout southeastern Massachusetts collecting toys from Operation Homefront collection sites. Those toys will be distributed to needy children in the area.

Coast Guard Air Station personnel also donated 50 used cell phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers program. The charity collects used cell phones and sells them to a company that recycles them. The money is then used to buy calling cards for deployed soldiers to call home.

The air station is also sending care packages to members of the Coast Guard Port Security Unit 301, which are currently deployed overseas.
 
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« Reply #1139 on: December 08, 2009, 04:37:29 pm »



News Release
Date: December 08, 2009
Contact:  District 7

Coast Guard revokes Palm Beach
Princess' Certificate of Compliance




MIAMI — The Acting Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Palm Beach, Fla., Capt. Cynthia Stowe, revoked the Palm Beach Princess’ Coast Guard-issued Certificate of Compliance Tuesday after the vessel failed to make required repairs to one of its main propulsion engines.

The vessel is now prohibited from carrying passengers in any U.S. port until its Certificate of Compliance is reinstated.

On Sept. 7, the Coast Guard received a report from the Palm Beach Princess regarding an engine casualty during the vessel’s transit from the Bahamas to the Port of Palm Beach. Once the vessel arrived at the Port of Palm Beach, it was met by ship surveyors from Det Norske Veritas, the organization that carries out vessel surveys and ensures the vessel's compliance with U.S. and international laws.  DNV completed a survey of the propulsion engine and issued a Condition of Class to the vessel on Sept. 8 certifying the material condition of the vessel until Dec. 8.

On Sept. 11, following the results of the survey, the COTP ordered the vessel to be under the assistance of tugboats of sufficient size and horsepower when departing and returning to the Port of Palm Beach. The order was to remain in effect until the Coast Guard received written notification that repairs had been completed and the vessel’s engine was fully operational.

Monday, after discussion with the vessel’s management and DNV, the Coast Guard learned that the repairs to the Palm Beach Princess’ main engine would not be completed by the Dec. 8 deadline, when the Condition of Class was to expire. As such, the COTP has determined the vessel could no longer operate with passengers aboard at reduced propulsion capability.

Once the vessel completes the repairs to the engine, or provides a suitable proposal, the Coast Guard will re-inspect the vessel.
 
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