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Author Topic: Coast Guard News  (Read 259732 times)
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« Reply #1470 on: September 02, 2010, 01:17:02 pm »



Press Release
Date: September 02, 2010
Contact: District 8 Public Affairs

Coast Guard responds
to oil platform explosion


NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a report of 13 people in the water following an oil platform explosion in block 380 approximately 90 miles south of  Vermillion Bay, La., at about 9:19 a.m.

Watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District command center received a report from a pilot aboard a Bristow helicopter at about 10:00 a.m., stating that 13 people were in the water near an oil platform on fire. All 13 people were wearing immersion suits.

The 13 people in the water were picked up by the OSV Crystal Clear and taken to another platform. Coast Guard helicopters are being utilized to transport the rescued to Terrebonne General Hospital.

Currently responding are:

Five MH-65C rescue helicopters and cres from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans;

Four MH-65C rescue helicopters and crews from Coast Guard Air Station Houston;

HC-144 Guardian aircraft from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala;

Coast Guard Cutters Decisive, Skipjack, Manta, Harry Claiborne;

Their conditions are unknown.

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« Reply #1471 on: September 03, 2010, 11:02:35 am »



Press Release
Date: September 02, 2010
Contact: District 5 Public Affairs

East coast units prepare
for hurricane response


VIDEO



BALTIMORE, MD — Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., remove a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from the water in preparation for Hurricane Earl, Sept. 2, 2010. As the hurricane becomes more a threat, the Coast Guard will take increased precautions to ensure that after the storm passes they will be able to respond quickly.

Above right:  Members from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., trailer their 25-foot Response Boat-Small at the Coast Guard Yard in preparation of Hurricane Earl, Sept. 2, 2010. The Coast Guard has set up an incident command post at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore to monitor the weather's impact to the Port of Baltimore.  USCG photos by PO2 Brandyn Hill and USCG video by PO3 Robert Brazzell .




Above left:  A crew from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., trailers a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from the water to ensure its safety until the effects of Hurricane Earl are over in the upper Chesapeake Bay, Sept. 2, 2010. Prior to the hurricane impact, Coast Guard crews conducted harbor patrols to notify mariners of the possible danger and how to best prepare for it.

Above right:  Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Scelson, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., ratchets a strap to secure a 25-foot Response Boat-Small to its trailer in preparation for Hurricane Earl, Sept. 2, 2010. The National Weather Service has forecasted that Hurricane Earl will impact coastal regions from North Carolina to New Jersey. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill.

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« Reply #1472 on: September 05, 2010, 11:31:40 am »



Photo Release
Date: September 04, 2010
Contact: District 17 Public Affairs

Vice Commandant Sally Brice-O'Hara
on familiarization visit to Alaska




VALDEZ, Alaska — Coast Guard Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, Coast Guard vice commandant and Alice Hill, senior counselor to the secretary of Homeland Security, tour the port of Valdez aboard a Coast Guard Station Valdez response boat small Sept. 3, 2010. Brice-O'Hara and Hill visited Valdez as part of a Department of Homeland Security familiarization visit to Alaska.

Right above:   Cmdr. Andrew Raiha, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, shows recent upgrades in the ship's engineering control room to Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, Coast Guard vice commandant and Alice Hill, senior counselor to the secretary of Homeland Security, Sept. 3, 2010. The Alex Haley is in an extended maintenance period, but effected a significant rescue of 28 survivors from the Taiwanese fishing vessel Hou Chun 11 in the South Pacific during an 80-day patrol in February, these and other aspects of the crew's missions were discussed to form a full picture of Alaska medium and high endurance cutter operations. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis. 



Above left:  Cmdr. Keith Ropella, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, discusses the legacy of the SPARs with Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, vice commandant, during a visit aboard the SPAR Sept. 3, 2010. SPAR's officer and chief's mess detailed the crew's experience in the Arctic as part of several annual exercises for Brice-O'Hara and Alice Hill, senior counselor to the secretary of Homeland Security, as well as the many challenges of operating in Alaska.

Above right:   Lt. Christopher Stoeckler, an MH-60 pilot with Air Station Kodiak, explains the course of events during the rescue of victims from the recent plane crash case that claimed the life of former Alaska senator Ted Stevens to Coast Guard Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, Coast Guard vice commandant and Alice Hill, senior counselor to the secretary of Homeland Security, during a visit to the Air Station Sept. 3, 2010. The dignitaries visit to Kodiak was an effort to better understand the scope of Alaska operations and the inherent challenges of operating in the remote region. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis. 

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« Reply #1473 on: September 08, 2010, 01:02:55 pm »



PROMISES, PROMISES:
Few black Coast Guard cadets

By DENNIS CONRAD (AP)



In a year when the academy proclaims the Class of 2014 as its most diverse ever, the share of blacks enrolled is even more modest than the picture would suggest. Only nine of the 289 students sworn in last June identified themselves as blacks or African Americans _ or 15 when mixed-race blacks are included.  Manson K. Brown above right, shown relieving Vice Adm. Jody A. Breckenridge as Pacific Area Commander last May became the Guard's first-ever black vice admiral.  (USCG Photos)

WASHINGTON — At his inaugural parade a half-century ago, President John F. Kennedy watched the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's marching unit pass him on Pennsylvania Avenue and declared it unacceptable. Not one cadet was black, he told an aide, and something ought be done about it.

Not a lot has, even to this day, when the nation's first black commander in chief is almost at midterm.

The cover of the academy's 2010 cadet handbook comes close to summing up the situation. There are 14 faces, with a single black one barely visible and off to the side and behind a white cadet.

___

EDITOR'S NOTE — An occasional look at government promises and how well they are kept.

___

In a year when the academy proclaims the Class of 2014 as its most diverse ever, the share of blacks enrolled is even more modest than the picture would suggest. Only nine of the 289 students sworn in last June identified themselves as blacks or African-Americans — or 15 when mixed-race blacks are included. By mid-August, the total had dropped to 14 after one cadet withdrew.

The problem is so vexing — and so long-standing — that the Coast Guard last year spent $40,000 buying lists of names of blacks and others to recruit as cadets. It didn't pay off, and Congress is wrestling with whether it should change how cadets are selected to attend the academy, located along the Thames River in New London, Conn.

"It's very hard to change the culture there without having the students to change it," said Marcus Akins, a black 1999 graduate who is a civilian Coast Guard architect after a 10-year career as an officer.

An internal task force report at the academy described negative perceptions of blacks and recounted racist remarks by faculty. Just a few years ago, in 2007, a black cadet and an officer conducting race relations training found nooses left for them. A major investigation was inconclusive.

"There is no affirmative action but people think you are there on affirmative action," said Lt. j.g. DeCarol Davis, who became the first black woman to be top of her class at the academy when she was the 2008 valedictorian as an engineering major. "It did persist throughout my tenure at the academy. I was even told I got where I was because I was the token black girl."

This year's figures are still an improvement over the five blacks who enrolled last year and represented only 2 percent of the Class of 2013. But twice in past years there were 22 blacks, in 1974 and again in 1999. As recently as the Class of 2010, there were as many as 13 blacks.

The latest figure is so small the academy shifts the focus to how its latest class is one-fourth composed of underrepresented minorities, including blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.

"We are by no means resting on our laurels," said Antonio Farias, the academy's director of diversity affairs. Farias said the Coast Guard's goal is for minorities to represent 25 percent to 30 percent of each cadet class.

At the rate the academy is going, it could easily reach its overall diversity goal by 2015 and still be lagging in its numbers for black cadets.

Blacks make up 12.9 percent of the U.S. population — or 13.6 percent when including mixed-race blacks — according to census figures. That would translate into an academy class size of more than 40 cadets and raise overall black enrollment close to 130 students, about 100 more than the past year.

According to current and former black Coast Guard cadets, recruiters and admissions officials:

_The black community doesn't know much about the Coast Guard.

_Unlike at service academies for the Army, Navy and Air Force, there aren't legacy generations of black graduates to steer their children toward Coast Guard service. Among the academies, the Naval Academy has the best record on recruiting blacks, who now make up more than 10 percent of its cadet classes.

_The Coast Guard is competing with public and private universities offering full-ride scholarships for the same black students with high science and math scores.

London Steverson, a black graduate who was a minority recruiter in the 1970s and enrolled a record 22 blacks in 1974, ventured into crime-ridden neighborhoods around Washington. Among his recruits was Manson K. Brown, who last May became the Guard's first-ever black vice admiral. Brown recalled Steverson's conversations with his family.

"He really started the dialogue with my mother that built the trust enough with the family and her in particular to allow me to seriously consider the Coast Guard," Brown said.

Under pressure from lawmakers, the academy last year spent $40,000 to buy lists of names of blacks and others from the National Research Center for College University Admissions, but the effort resulted only in 15 blacks or mixed-race blacks in the cadet class. The Coast Guard emphasized its numbers of overall minorities.

"The results were astounding," said Capt. Stephan Finton, the academy's admissions director. "When you go from 16 percent diversity of our entering class last year to 24 percent this year, I would say that we were pretty laser-focused and we really did get the results we were looking for."

Congress is restless for improvements. Under a provision passed in the House last year, lawmakers would nominate candidates for the Coast Guard's academy the same way that all the other service academies have operated. But the proposal has stalled on Capitol Hill, even as the Obama administration has cut $2.9 million from what has been the Coast Guard's $206.8 million budget for training and recruiting.

Two prominent lawmakers — Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the Coast Guard subcommittee and member of the Congressional Black Caucus — say the Coast Guard Academy is working hard to improve the number of blacks and minorities but has fallen short.

"I give them a B-plus for effort," Cummings told The Associated Press. "In some instances, we are going to have to go out of our way to try to get these young people into the school. It's not that they are not qualified."

Oberstar said he and Cummings will insist on congressional involvement in admissions.

"The other academies have members of Congress as advisers in recommending nominations," Oberstar said, "and there is no reason the Coast Guard can't be treated in the same way."

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« Reply #1474 on: September 08, 2010, 01:08:12 pm »

Quote
Congress is restless for improvements. Under a provision passed in the House last year, lawmakers would nominate candidates for the Coast Guard's academy the same way that all the other service academies have operated. But the proposal has stalled on Capitol Hill, even as the Obama administration has cut $2.9 million from what has been the Coast Guard's $206.8 million budget for training and recruiting.

With our nation on the brink of financial collapse and our unemployment rate at around 10% and our resident idiots on Capitol Hill are worried about how many black Americans are enrolled in the CG Academy ......... ??? 

GOOD GRIEF Y'ALL GET YOU HEADS OUTTA YOUR ASSES AND FOCUS .......!!!
   AARRGGHH   Hammer
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« Reply #1475 on: September 09, 2010, 02:48:07 pm »



Feature Story Release
Date: September 08, 2010
Contact: District 7 Public Affairs
USCG photos and video by: PO1 Allyson E.T. Conroy

Running for a cause


Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Kirkendall poses for a photo at Coast Guard Air Station Savannah Friday Sept.,3, 2010. Kirkendall completed a 100-mile race May 15, 2010, almost three years to the day of his final chemotherapy treatment.

SAVANNAH, GA. — When most people think of Coast Guard rescue swimmers the first thought that comes to mind is usually of someone who is strong, fit and determined.  These men and women put themselves through some of life’s most difficult challenges every day for their job, and a number of them bring that determination to their private lives as well.  Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Kirkendall of Air Station Savannah is one of these rescue swimmers who has overcome more challenges than most people his age could imagine. On May 15, 2010 he completed the Keys 100 race three years almost to the day of his final chemotherapy treatment, while at the same time raising nearly $2,000 for fallen shipmates.
          
“Keys 100 is a 100-mile race from Key Largo to Key West, Fla.,” said Kirkendall. “I looked for an event that was 100 miles, and I know there aren’t many elevation changes in that part of the world, so that’s why I chose this particular race.”
          
After completing three marathons previously, the Anchorage native was looking for a little bit more of a challenge.

“It just got to the point where everyone and their brother has done a marathon, and it just didn’t sound like that much of a challenge anymore. I was looking for a 100-mile race that was close by that I felt I could accomplish, and I found the Keys 100. I first started looking at it in September 2009.  I had never been to Florida, so I thought I’d check it out.”
          
And the race proved to be quite the challenge. All 109 runners met at the starting line in Key Largo at 6:00 in the morning at a cool 74 degrees with 82 percent humidity. Over the next 32 hours the sun beat down on the athletes averaging about 82 degrees and in some places getting as warm as 92 degrees while maintaining the high humidity.  The overall heat index would prove to be a great challenge for all of the runners. Only 33 of them would actually complete the race.
          
“It was the longest 31 hours, 55 minutes of my life!” He said. “I just wasn’t prepared for how hot it was going to be. I had two of my best friends come down and act as support crew, Darren Navarro and Chris Wheeler. If it wasn’t for them, I would never have crossed the finish line – they kept me alive.”

Throughout the race, the 100-mile runners had four checkpoints along the route. These points were about every 25 miles. It was up to Kirkendall’s support team to keep him going, keep him motivated, and keep hydrated.
          
“He would call us if something would happen in between,” Navarra said. “Other than that, we would set up every few miles where we would be and just wait for him to come along.”
          
Wheeler ran with Krikendall every now and then on the course, and Navarra would call out encouraging words to keep motivated.
 

        
“I just wanted to keep a positive attitude because obviously it’s going to be a trying event. So I figured that if the support crew, Chris and I, were positive through out the race, then he’d be able to carry the same attitude himself,” Navarra said.  Kirkendall stands at six feet, two inches tall, and weights about 215 pounds. A physique, he says, that isn’t your normal runner’s physique, but he didn’t let the other runners intimidate him as race day approached.
          
“The day before the race, Darren, Chris and I went to go pick up my bib number and the packet. I’m looking around and it’s like ‘There’s no one [who’s] even close to being [more than] 200 pounds here,’” Kirkendall said.  “All of the runners there were all 170-180 pounds. Some of them were probably close to 160. And me, I’m 215, and I was definitely the Clydesdale in the group.”
          
However, he didn’t feel anxious as he observed the other 108 runners. One of them asked him skeptically if he was going to run the entire 100 miles.        

“Yeah, sure, why not?” The self-proclaimed Clydesdale shrugged and laughed.   “And honestly, some of the guys who were real small, those were the guys who didn’t finish.  As you’re getting up to the check points, the 25, 50, 75 mile check points, you saw ambulances running the other way with some of the other runners.  They were the real lightweight runners. I was happy I could outlast those guys.”
          
Kirkendall would prove all of them wrong, and he completed the grueling 100-mile race.
        
“I was happy he finished. I wanted him to finish, and I did everything I could as far as support during the race to keep him going. It was great when he finished. It was awesome!” Navarra said.
          
The race itself supports prostate cancer research, and raises money for cancer patients, something that Kirkendall is all too familiar with.  He was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in 2007.  According to the Mayo Clinic, testicular cancer is not as common as other cancers, but occurs more often in young American men ages 15-34. Kirkendall was 26 at the time of his diagnosis.  
          
“I was so well taken care of when I was sick and going through my ordeal. At the time I had just transferred to Air Station New Orleans from Air Station Travers City, and both commands were supportive and did whatever they could to help me out with whatever I needed,” Kirkendall said of his experience. “May 12, 2007 was my last day of chemotherapy, and May 15, 2010 was race day. It was my three-year anniversary of being in remission, and I just felt that was the best way to celebrate being alive for three years.”
Being diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment was a humbling experience for Kirkendall, who now says he would like to be an example for anyone who has to go through what he went through.
          
“It always bothers me when people try to say, ‘This was my experience I had when I had cancer, or when I was going through chemo.’ No one handles it the same.  Everyone’s situation is different. I don’t like telling people, ‘This is what you can expect.’  But if I can be an example for somebody [who] was affected with it saying, ‘Hey, look at me! I was in a similar situation and three years later I ran a 100-mile race.’  If I can be an example to someone, and maybe keep their head up and keep their head out of the dumps, that’s what kind of inspired me.”

After the initial diagnosis and during his recovery, Kirkendall realized how much of a family the Coast Guard is, and how tight-knit the aviation community is.  “On top of that, being an AST where there’s so few of us, when one is going through difficulty we all feel it. It is truly a brotherhood.”
          
Which is why he wanted this race to mean something more. Not only was he running for the race’s cause, but he had his own cause as well.  On October 29, 2009 a Coast Guard C-130 plane collided in mid air with a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter off the coast of San Diego killing all on board both aircraft.


        
“Being in aviation, for whatever reason, when the 1705 crashed, it bothered me more than any other aviation mishap that has happened since I’ve been in, and the Coast Guard is a family. I just felt this was the best way I could give back.  Being able to complete this race, and just really give back.  That was really the eye in the prize. I wanted to do something to help the families, and this is what came to mind. I ran 100 miles for them.”
          
The swimmer ran 100 miles with the families of the crew members inspiring him to keep moving one foot in front of the other through the day, into the night hours and the sunrise of the following morning, and finally finishing in the early afternoon May 16.  He was able to raise almost $2,000 by asking friends and family if they would sponsor him either per mile or for a flat rate. The money was then donated to the Family Disaster Relief fund through the Coast Guard Foundation.
          
Kirkendall does not want his life to be defined by cancer, or as a cancer survivor, but rather by the day-to-day accomplishments he is able to achieve.  And this is what he has achieved: completing something epic by running 100 miles in the loving memory of his fallen shipmates.  
          
Two months after Kirkendall completed his race the Coast Guard suffered another tragedy.  On July 7 an aircrew based at Air Station Sitka, Alaska crashed into the waters off La Push, Wash. They were flying from Astoria, Ore., back to Sitka when the MH-60T Jayhawk, tail number 6017, met a tragic end.  The crash killed three of the men aboard and sent one to the hospital for six days.   And once again Kirkendall and the rest of the Coast Guard family found themselves grieving for their lost shipmates, for their lost family members.  Kirkendall ran with the seven crewmembers of 1705 as his inspiration, but the money he raised will go toward helping the families of this recent crash of 6017.

Feature Story Release
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« Reply #1476 on: September 09, 2010, 03:46:22 pm »



Photo Release
Date: September 08, 2010
Contact: District 17 Public Affairs

Coast Guard pays respect to
fallen Hoonah police officers




HOONAH, Alaska — More than 1,000 residents of Hoonah along with local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies attended the memorial service for Hoonah Police Officers Matthew Tokuoka and Anthony Wallace at the Hoonah School gym while others attended the service at the Alaska Native Brotherhood hall in Hoonah Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010. Law enforcement officers traveled to Hoonah from locations as far Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and other states attended the memorial service for Tukuoka and Wallace.

Above right:  Petty Officer 3rd Class Mike Hernon, a machinery technician at Station Juneau, observes a memorial for Hoonah Police Officers Matthew Tokuoka and Anthony Wallace built by residents along side the road Wednesday, September 8, 2010. The Coast Guard was one several federal law enforcement agencies who attended the memorial service.  (Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn.)



Above left:  Law enforcement officers from state, local, federal and international agencies salute the American Flag being carried by Alaska State Troopers Honor Guard that was given to the family members of Matthew Tokuoka and Anthony Wallace Wednesday, Sept. 2010. More than 1,800 local state, federal and international law enforcement agencies along with the 800 residents who live in Hoonah attended the memorial service for Tokuoka and Wallace.

Above right:  Coast Guardsmen from the 17th Coast Guard District and Sector Juneau salute a procession of police cars from the Juneau Police Department carrying the urns of Hoonah Police Officer’s Matthew Tokuoka and Anthony Wallace to the memorial service.  (Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn.)
   
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« Reply #1477 on: September 12, 2010, 01:24:18 pm »



Photo Release
Date: September 11, 2010
Contact: District 8 Public Affairs

Blowout preventer is transported to New Orleans

VIDEO



NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard, New Orleans Port Authority and Homeland Security units provide an escort as the blowout preventer of the Deepwater Horizon is transported on the Mississippi River into New Orleans, Sept. 11, 2010. The blowout preventer will be used to help the joint BOEM/USCG investigation determine the circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, pollution, and sinking of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon.

Above right:  Coast Guard, New Orleans Port Authority and Homeland Security units provide an escort as the blowout preventer of the Deepwater Horizon is transported on the Mississippi River into New Orleans, Sept. 11, 2010. The blowout preventer will be used to help the joint BOEM/USCG investigation determine the circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, pollution, and sinking of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

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« Reply #1478 on: September 21, 2010, 11:52:19 am »



Photo Release
Date: September 17, 2010
Contact: District 17 Public Affairs

Actor Gary Sinise visits
Kodiak-based Coast Guard units




KODIAK, Alaska — Actor Gary Sinise takes a moment for a photo while aboard the Kodiak-based Coast Guard Cutter Munro during a tour of the Coast Guard base Kodiak units Sept. 17, 2010. Sinise is part of a United Service Organizations Inc. tour with the Lt. Dan Band.

Above middle:  Members of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro take a picture with Actor Gary Sinise, center, before his tour of the cutter. Sinise is a part of a morale tour supported by United Service Organizations and TriWest Healthcare Alliance to Alaska-based military units with the Lt. Dan Band.

Above right:  Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix takes a moment for a photo next to memorial plaque of Coast Guard Medal of Honor recipent Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas A. Munro on the Kodiak-based Coast Guard Cutter Munro Sept. 17, 2010. Dix was a part of a United Service Organizations Inc. tour with Actor Gary Sinise to military units in Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally 

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« Reply #1479 on: September 22, 2010, 08:41:52 am »



News Release
Date: September 21, 2010
Contact: District 17 Public Affairs

Sycamore crew returns
home after busy 120-day Patrol




KODIAK, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore is returning home to Cordova on Tuesday following 120 days underway supporting response efforts for the Deepwater Horizon /BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sycamore also patrolled the Mid-Pacific in search of drug traffickers as they transited to and from the Gulf of Mexico.

Sycamore departed Cordova on May 24 en route Washington for a one month training assessment at the Coast Guard Afloat Training Group in Everett. The crew demonstrated their excellence in all assessment areas, ranging from damage control and communications to anti-terrorism and gunnery exercises. They achieved a “clean sweep” of all drills. The day before completing the training cycle, the ship received orders to “turn left” when exiting the Strait of Juan de Fuca and proceed through the Panama Canal to Pensacola, Florida for up to six months in support of Operation Deepwater Horizon.

With three days preparation in Seattle, Sycamore swapped out 18 crew members, loaded two weather buoys on deck, and took on fuel and supplies to make the 5,000 mile transit. Cmdr. James Houck, Sycamore’s commanding officer, described the crew’s reaction; “The crew took the changes in stride. Embodying the Coast Guard’s motto of Semper Paratus (Always Ready), we knew the nation needed us in the Gulf of Mexico and we responded with gusto. The disappointment of not being able to return home after a very successful training cycle was quickly overcome by the crew’s camaraderie and adventurous spirit as we headed out to do our duties.”

Between Seattle and the Panama Canal, Sycamore set two offshore weather buoys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, retrieved and reset a wayward navigational buoy, and monitored the waters off Central America for drug trafficking.

During its 42 days in the Gulf of Mexico, the crew of the Sycamore directed the Coast Guard’s oil spill skimming and vessel of opportunity support fleets along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida while constantly looking for skimmable oil. The crew also served as a search and rescue guard ship and provided hurricane contingency support.

“Sycamore’s crew responded remarkably to every challenge Deepwater Horizon through our way,” said Houck. “We are very proud of the contributions and hard work of the entire Coast Guard and applaud the many Coast Guardsmen involved in the response.”

The Sycamore is a 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tender with a crew of seven officers and 44 enlisted. Sycamore was one of eight 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tenders to respond to the Deepwater Horizon crisis. Their homeports range from Newport, R.I. to Honolulu, Hawaii. Sycamore’s homeport of Cordova, Alaska is the farthest from the Gulf of Mexico. Half of the Coast Guard’s 225 fleet was called to action, and seven of the eight remain in the Gulf of Mexico, awaiting detailed decontamination and to be cleaned of the oil they skimmed.

At the height of the Deepwater Horizon response 47,849 people, 123 aircraft and 8,044 vessels were deployed to collect, burn and disperse oil as well as protect sensitive shoreline, cleanup oil impacted areas, and monitor for the health and safety of people in the region.

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« Reply #1480 on: September 23, 2010, 09:47:56 am »



Navy sidelines coastal
patrol boats in Persian Gulf

By Kate Wiltrout
The Virginian-Pilot
September 16, 2010


The coastal patrol boat Firebolt upper left, shown in 2007, and five other boats like it have been taken out of service until they can be permanently repaired and restored. (Martin Smith-Rodden file photo | The Virginian-Pilot).  The Coast Guard Cutter Shamal stationed in Pascagoula, MS.  (USCG photo)
 
BAHRAIN — The Navy has sidelined its fleet of coastal patrol boats operating out of Bahrain after inspections revealed "significant structural damage," and has limited the operations of five patrol boats homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek.

Chris Johnson, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, said the Navy has ceased operating five Cyclone-class patrol vessels in Bahrain until they can be permanently repaired and restored, a process that may take months.

Inspections of the Little Creek boats are ongoing, and those patrol craft could be pulled from service, too. In the meantime, crews will operate them under certain restrictions.

The lightweight, 169-foot steel-hulled boats were built by Bollinger in the 1990s and expected to serve 15 years. With one exception, all have hit or exceeded that milestone.

Problems discovered in the boats’ hulls – warping and buckling of the steel frame, as well as corrosion in various tanks – are a cumulative result of hard use and severe operating conditions, Johnson said. The extent of the damage was first discovered this spring, after two of the Little Creek boats, the Hurricane and the Thunderbolt, sustained some damage in a storm off Cape Hatteras in April while en route to Florida.

When engineers looked closer, they found pre-existing hull damage on those boats. A formal inspection process followed, which determined the damage potentially affected all the vessels in the class, including three that were transferred from the Navy to the Coast Guard.

Most of the repairs on the overseas ships will be done by shipyard personnel in Bahrain, Johnson said, although some U.S. specialists might be sent to help. Johnson said the work will take a couple of months, and said it was too soon to estimate how much the repairs will cost.

The 30-person crews of the Bahrain-based boats deploy from Little Creek, and typically serve six month tours. The crews rotate, but the Cyclones stay in Bahrain.

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« Reply #1481 on: September 23, 2010, 10:08:34 am »

The lightweight, 169-foot steel-hulled boats were built by Bollinger in the 1990s and expected to serve 15 years. With one exception, all have hit or exceeded that milestone.

Problems discovered in the boats’ hulls – warping and buckling of the steel frame, as well as corrosion in various tanks – are a cumulative result of hard use and severe operating conditions, Johnson said. The extent of the damage was first discovered this spring, after two of the Little Creek boats, the Hurricane and the Thunderbolt, sustained some damage in a storm off Cape Hatteras in April while en route to Florida.

When engineers looked closer, they found pre-existing hull damage on those boats. A formal inspection process followed, which determined the damage potentially affected all the vessels in the class, including three that were transferred from the Navy to the Coast Guard.

More great work by Bollinger ...     AARRGGHH  I wonder if we ever got reimbursed for the 123-footers? 
The three Cyclone Class that we have are the SHAMAL, TORNADO and ZEPHYR.  I think all three are in Pascagoula, MS.
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« Reply #1482 on: September 23, 2010, 10:15:33 am »

Couple of years ago I saw the Tornado and the Zephyr tied up in San Diego Bay.  They may have move them  ForJack!.
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« Reply #1483 on: September 23, 2010, 10:22:35 am »

San Diego, 2008.

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« Reply #1484 on: September 24, 2010, 11:04:27 am »

theday.com

Academy leader Burhoe will retire
By Jennifer McDermott



Admiral not among 3 chosen to serve further in Coast Guard

New London— The superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy was not among the three officers selected to remain in the service as a rear admiral and will retire July 1.

A board of senior officers met recently at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to consider the standing of six rear admirals, including Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe. Only three could continue in the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. announced the list of the officers who were chosen, which was approved by the secretary of homeland security, in a service-wide message Tuesday. Burhoe is retiring after more than three decades as an officer.

The board's deliberations are not public. But Burhoe's love for the academy and his reluctance to serve elsewhere may have hurt his chances.

Burhoe said he told the vice commandant, who is also the president of the board, many times that the superintendent's job was the only one he wanted in the Coast Guard.

"It's likely that if I was sitting on that board, I could see myself making the same decision they made for all the right reasons they made that decision," Burhoe said Thursday. "I don't see this as a bad thing or anything unexpected given how long I've been here and my interest in remaining here, and I'm really looking forward to what's next."

The Coast Guard limits the number of officers who can serve as rear admirals. Less than 1 percent of career officers are promoted to flag rank, which is rear admiral and higher.

Rear admirals appear before the selection board after serving at least four years but no more than five in that rank. Half of the candidates stay in the service. The other half retire.

The statutory cap on the number of Coast Guard rear admirals is 50. Few will be promoted to vice admiral. There is only one admiral, the commandant.

"Coast Guard officers work within a military structure and our promotion system constantly renews our leadership ranks," Papp said in a statement provided to The Day. "While many fine officers will be offered the privilege of continued service, the unavoidable reality of this system is that there will be very good and honorable officers who will not be offered the opportunity for continuation in our Coast Guard."

Papp added that Burhoe has "done a superb job for our service over the past 33 years and has been an exceptional Coast Guard Academy superintendent."

He cited the high marks the academy received during the recent re-accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the school's first-place ranking in U.S. News and World Report's baccalaureate colleges (north) category as a testament to Burhoe's efforts and those of the staff and faculty he leads.

The campus was still reeling from the first court-martial of a cadet on sexual assault charges when Burhoe, now 56, became the superintendent in January 2007. Burhoe said it was a time to renew the school's focus on its mission of developing leaders of character.

"There was not necessarily a unity of effort," he said, and that this unity "is here today."

He encountered challenges along the way. Early in his tenure, nooses were left in a cadet's belongings and in a staff member's office. More recently, the women's basketball coach committed suicide on campus after admitting to embezzling funds from the school's Athletic Association.

Burhoe said these negative events, which he tries not to dwell on, have the potential to happen anywhere. The academy has since become more inclusive and additional controls were added to the Athletic Association fund, he said.

Some in Congress have attempted to bring the admissions process in line with those of the other service academies to increase diversity. Twenty-four percent of the class of 2014, or 69 students, are from racial and ethnic minority groups, just shy of Burhoe's goal of between 25 and 30 percent.

Burhoe said he has felt pressure but not criticism.

"I was putting more pressure on myself than anybody from outside," he said.

Lately Burhoe has been out in the community, answering questions about the Coast Guard's interest in purchasing a portion of Riverside Park to expand the academy's campus. He hopes his departure will not affect the negotiations. New London Mayor Rob Pero said it should not.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District and a member of the academy's Board of Visitors, praised the way Burhoe has handled the diversity issue and increased the academy's presence in New London.

"I think his efforts will be viewed very kindly by history," he said.

Burhoe would like to lead a small college or one of the military preparatory schools students attend prior to going to one of the service academies, or possibly pursue a doctorate in education.

"Education is the key to moving the country forward," he said, "and I want to continue to be involved in it."

Burhoe has served in a variety of operational and staff assignments, including being the Coast Guard's director of governmental and public affairs and commanding officer of Training Center Yorktown in Virginia.

From 1996 to 1998, Burhoe also helped to create the Leadership Development Center at the academy and to bring the Officer Candidate School to fruition. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1977 and was the first OCS graduate to run the academy.

The change of command ceremony will be in June, with the Coast Guard most likely naming his replacement sometime this fall. Burhoe said he feels honored to have had a long career in the Coast Guard, culminating in his dream job at the academy.

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