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Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom


Coast Guard groundbreaking ceremony recogizes new support facility  Follow link

April 23, 2014 9:23 pm

Photos available

Coast Guard cutter seizes more than a ton of cocaine in Eastern Pacific Ocean  Follow link

April 23, 2014 5:23 pm

Coast Guard cutter seizes more than a ton of cocaine in Eastern Pacific Ocean
ALAMEDA, Calif.-- Burlap sacks filled with packages of cocaine lie in the hold of a Panamanian fishing vessel in international waters off the coast of Panama in late March. The drugs were discovered by a boarding team from the Coast Guard Cutter Active.
The contraband, fishing boat, and five suspected smugglers were turned over the Panamanian authorities. U.S. Coast Guard photo

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active seized an estimated 2,300 pounds of cocaine, worth approximately $37 million, in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean some 140 miles off the coast of Panama late last month.

Active, home ported in Port Angeles, Wash., was on routine patrol in the region when it was directed to intercept a suspicious Panamanian fishing vessel sighted earlier by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 aircraft. A Coast Guard boarding team was launched as Active approached the fishing vessel. During an inspection of the vessel, the boarding team discovered more than 40 burlap sacks filled with cocaine. The fishing boat, the contraband, and five suspected smugglers were turned over to Panamanian authorities.

"I am extremely proud of this crew. They have continually lived up to the cutter's nickname, the ‘Li'l Tough Guy’," said Cmdr. Philip Crigler, Active’s commanding officer. “Through their tenacity we have had great success on this patrol keeping illegal drugs from reaching the shores of the United States."

The Coast Guard deploys assets to both the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea in coordination with other law enforcement agencies and partner nations in the regions to disrupt the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. Overall coordination of surveillance and patrols is done by an interagency task force based in Florida. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda.



Coast Guard aircrews conduct rescue training in San Luis Pass  Follow link

April 23, 2014 4:19 pm

This photo on DVIDS This photo on DVIDS This photo on DVIDS
Video of the event
Coast Guard aircrews conduct rescue training in San Luis Pass, Texas. Coast Guard crewmembers and senior leadership from Air Station Houston conducted the training to their sharpen skills and to gain the prospective of rescuees. U.S. Coast Guard photos and video. The video is available on DVIDS.

HOUSTON — Coast Guard aircrews conducted rescue training in San Luis Pass, Tuesday, as a means of continuing to sharpen their skills, creating a culture of proficiency for these lifesaving professionals.

From morning to afternoon, the crewmembers hoisted mock survivors to MH-65 Dolphin helicopters in many different ways to simulate the many different scenarios they could potentially face on any given day. The objective was the same as for any other Coast Guard training exercise: to be as prepared as humanly possible for any situation, at any time, anywhere.

San Luis Pass has a troubling history. In the summer of 2013, four people drowned while swimming in the area. The pass is home to treacherous currents, sudden drop offs and many signs detailing these dangers. These obvious hazards can be dangerous for even experiences swimmers, but allow for challenging training for the Coast Guard's professional lifesavers



Coast Guard unit to host 9th annual Safety Day Expo in Oak Island, NC  Follow link

April 23, 2014 3:42 pm

WHO: Members of Coast Guard Station Oak Island, along with 28 different military, federal, state and local agencies, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

WHAT: Military, Federal, State, and Local public service organizations on display. Helicopters, boats, emergency response vehicles, police vehicles and fire trucks, etc.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Coast Guard Station Oak Island, 300 A Caswell Beach Rd., Oak Island, NC 28465.

OAK ISLAND, N.C. — Media and the public are invited to attend the 9th Annual Safety Day Expo at Coast Guard Station Oak Island, Saturday.

Editors note: Media desiring to attend this event need to contact Petty Officer 2nd Class Todd Murray at 910-278-1133 or Petty Officer 1st Class Clayton Williams at 910-470-3903.



Coast Guard, Air Force, Air National Guard, Alaska State Troopers rescue boater near Anchorage, Alaska  Follow link

April 23, 2014 5:45 am

Correction: Boater was rescued and taken to Providence Hospital by 210th Rescue Squadron Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crew and 212th Rescue Squadron Alaska Air National Guard pararescueman, where he was met by Alaska State Troopers

Coast Guard Pacific Area receives new commander  Follow link

April 22, 2014 7:47 pm

Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, left, and Admiral Robert J. Papp, center, congratulate Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray on his new position as the Commander of Pacific Area at the Change of Command Ceremony held on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, 2014. The ceremony, a time-honored military tradition, formally marked the transition of command from Zukunft to Ray. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1265566/coast-guard-pacific-area-receives-new-commander#.U1b-PCiGBUQ#ixzz2zf5l4nEs

Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, left, and Admiral Robert J. Papp, center, congratulate Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray on his new position as the commander of Pacific Area at the Change of Command Ceremony held on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, 2014. The ceremony, a time-honored military tradition, formally marked the transition of command from Zukunft to Ray. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

Members of the Coast Guard Base Alameda color guard present colors during the national anthem at the change of command ceremony on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray relieved Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart)   Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1265554/coast-guard-pacific-area-receives-new-commander#.U1b-qiiGBUQ#ixzz2zf60bkqG

Members of the Coast Guard Base Alameda color guard present colors during the national anthem at the change of command ceremony on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray relieved Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

Adm. Robert J. Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the official party render salutes during the opening of the Change of Command Ceremony held on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, 2014. Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray assumed command from Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart)   Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1265563/coast-guard-pacific-area-receives-new-commander#.U1b-3iiGBUQ#ixzz2zf6DC0io

Adm. Robert J. Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the official party render salutes during the opening of the Change of Command Ceremony held on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, 2014. Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray assumed command from Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray relieved Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Coast Guard Defense Forces West, in a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., April 22, 2014.

“This is not a transition, this is a continuity of leadership,” said Zukunft. “Just as the ceremony we observe today is a continuity of leadership, this is not a change of command -- just a newer, younger face will step in and take my place.”

Zukunft served as the Pacific Area Commander since April 2012, and is leaving to assume the duties as the Coast Guard Commandant in Washington, D.C., upon Senate confirmation.

“It has been a pleasure serving as the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander for the past two years, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue my service as the Coast Guard’s 25th Commandant,” said Zukunft.

Ray served as the Pacific Area deputy since 2013. His previous flag assignments include Coast Guard District 14 Commander, service with U.S. Forces Iraq as Director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior, and as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ray, a Newport, Ark., native, is a 1981 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. After an assignment as a deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet, he was selected for Naval Flight Training and earned his wings in 1983.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition that formally restates that the continuity of command will be maintained. It is a formal ritual, conducted before the assembled company of the command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, and auxiliarists of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by one person and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.

PACAREA’s area of responsibility encompasses six of the seven continents, 71 countries, and more than 74 million square miles of ocean -- from the U.S. Western States to Asia, and from the Arctic to Antarctica.



Coast Guard Admiral says farwell to the citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area  Follow link

April 22, 2014 6:06 pm

To the citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area,

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the communities of Alameda, Oakland and San Francisco. My wife and I have called the Bay Area home for the past two years, and have been honored to call you all our neighbors while serving as the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area Commander.

These communities have embraced my family just as they have embraced all of the 4,000 Coast Guard members and their families that are assigned here and call the Bay Area home.

We work closely with our partner agencies here in the Bay Area to maintain a 24/7 readiness and response stance against threats affecting national security, as well as safety of life and property at sea not only in the Bay Area, but throughout the 74 millions of square miles in the PACAREA area of responsibility, placing the communities of the Bay Area on the front lines of Coast Guard operations.

The Bay Area Coast Guard is comprised of boat stations, a buoy tender, an air station, training centers, three national security cutters and regional headquarters commands that coordinate operations throughout California and the entire Pacific. Our national security cutters, Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton, provide long-range offshore capabilities and regularly conduct counter-drug patrols off the coasts of Central and South America as well as fisheries patrols in Alaska.

Alameda has a special claim to the Coast Guard family by not only being a Coast Guard City, but by also being home to the first national security cutter, the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf. Each time one of these cutters deploys to the Eastern Pacific for counter illicit trafficking patrols, or north to the Arctic, they sail through the Golden Gate out to sea. But they come home the communities of the Bay Area.

In 2013 we melded as a community to show the world what the Bay Area has to offer by hosting the 34th America’s Cup Race, which was held in the heart of the Port of San Francisco. We worked closely with the event organizer and local agencies that operate on the Bay to create a race route that allowed for a safe and secure race while minimizing the impacts to commercial shipping traffic.

During my time in the Bay Area I have witnessed your outpouring of support when we needed our community the most. Our partner agencies and our communities mourned with us when we remembered both Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne and Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Obendorf. Though the circumstances behind both deaths were very different, it reminds us that our jobs are inherently dangerous and we depend on the support of our community agencies to get the mission done, both while deployed and at home.

As I get prepare for my next adventure as the Commandant of the Coast Guard, I am inspired by the way the Bay Area communities have embraced our Coast Guard shipmates and families. I ask you to join me in welcoming our new Pacific Area Commander, Vice Adm. Charles Ray, as he assumes the mantle of command for the Bay Area’s largest military force. I am truly grateful to have served in such a caring and vibrant region.

Sincerely,

Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft

Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft
July 23, 2008) SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, which will be homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., arrives in San Francisco, as the Coast Guard's first National Security Cutter. The new cutters will eventually replace the aging 378-foot cutters as the Coast Guard's long-range patrol asset. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley) SAN FRANCISCO - A Coast Guard boatcrew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat enforces a safety and security zone on San Francisco Bay during the 34th America's Cup World Series event, Aug. 25, 2012. The America's Cup was first raced in 1851, 45 years before the modern Olympic games. The United States yacht America won, therefore giving the international sailing competition its name. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Zac Crawford.
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf,
which will be homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif.,
arrives in San Francisco, as the Coast Guard's first National Security Cutter.
The new cutters will eventually replace the aging 378-foot cutters as the
Coast Guard's long-range patrol asset.
(Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley)

SAN FRANCISCO - A Coast Guard boatcrew aboard a 25-foot Response
Boat enforces a safety and security zone on San Francisco Bay during the
34th America's Cup World Series event, Aug. 25, 2012. The America's Cup
was first raced in 1851, 45 years before the modern Olympic games.
The United States yacht America won, therefore giving the international
sailing competition its name.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Zac Crawford.



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