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NavEx2017_Q2 Flipbook PDF

Navigator Express 2017_Q2




NAVIGATOR express All 3 Phases of Team Coast Guard Work Together in Louisville plus Auxiliarist goes on Safety Inspection of the Brig Niagara Auxiliarist serve aboard Buoy Tenders along side active duty USCG Aux Photo

Division Conducts Boat Crew Training p. 31

USCG Aux Photo by H William Smith




OVER LOUISVILLE Team Coast Guard Steps Up to Ensure Safety Story by H William Smith

Louisville, Kentucky – Thunder and lightning were the order of the day on 21 April, 2018 as aircraft and fireworks lit the sky over Louisville, Kentucky with its signature celebration, Thunder Over Louisville. The annual party on the Ohio River kicks off more than two weeks of events as the region welcomes the world to the Kentucky Derby. For more than 25 years the combination air show and fireworks extravaganza (one of the largest in North America) has attracted more than 600,000 people to the banks of the Ohio in celebration of activities surrounding the Derby.

steps up to ensure that the river, the stage on which the event takes place, is safe.

Thunder Over Louisville, one of the major events along the river each year, is a showcase for the Louisville community and the U.S. Coast Guard is an important part of both the community and the show. The Coast Guard’s Sector Ohio Valley is headquartered in Louisville and while Coast Guard personnel make up a fraction of the estimated 2,000 people who work the event, all of Team Coast Guard

This year, the swift, debris-filled, waters forced Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley’s Captain of the Port to close the river to recreational boating for about 10 miles surrounding the festivities. The expanded closure called for all elements of the Coast Guard to work as a team. Active Duty, Reserve and Auxiliary members worked together to make sure everyone enjoyed the show and that the chocolate-brown river caused no harm.

LEFT: L-R Rick Goranflo (82-04-02), Rick Schal (82-04-01) and Nick McManus (82-04-01) scan the Ohio River up-stream for floating debris during Thunder Over Louisville.

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Safety First

Safety is paramount during an event this large. On festival weekend this year, that mission was complicated by a river swollen by spring flooding and debris. Typically hundreds of boaters take to the river to watch the air show and fireworks from on the water near what is usually a much smaller safety zone.

No Easy Task

The task of shutting down the river to recreational boating and controlling all access during the air and fireworks shows required both operational and public affairs resources that began prior to the event Continued on Page 4



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with appearances by Captain of the Port Michael Zamperini on local media outlets to let the public know about the river closure and the reasons for it. The cooperation between the local media and the Coast Guard was a critical element in making the boating public aware of the situation and significantly reduced attempts by local boaters to enter the safety zone. On the day of the event Team Coast Guard went into action to make sure the public was aware of the closure and that boaters did not go into harm’s way.

Reservists On Duty On the morning of the 21st, two 29-foot patrol boats, crewed by USCG Reserve personnel, were deployed several hours before the event to work with local law enforcement to enforce the closure. Their mission was to patrol the river, making sure that no recreational boaters entered the safety zone. They also provided onthe-water information to command staff regarding river conditions and identifed potential problems. Reservists worked in shifts to provide coverage throughout the day and long into the evening.

Auxiliarists Lend a Hand The Coast Guard Auxiliary was also called into action to provide assistance with checking local marinas in the Louisville area to make sure the boating public was aware of the closures. Lee Tucci (Flotilla 082-04-03), Rick Goranflo (082-04-10), Rick Schal (082-04-02), Nick McManus (082-0401) & Bill Smith (Flotilla 082-12-07) USCG Aux Photo by H William Smith



USCG Aux Photo by H William Smith PREVIOUS PAGE: A family walks through the flood waters surrounding their marina on the way to their boat. Many marinas along the Ohio River experienced similar situations due to high water. ABOVE: Coast Guard Reserve personnel take to the swift moving water to make sure the Safety Zone around downtown Louisville is clear of recreational boating traffic.

teamed up with Reserve Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Belenger to pay visits to a number of marinas and boat ramps in an effort to make sure the boating public was aware of the closure. The Auxiliarists were also able to assess flooding levels along the river and in the marinas themselves and pass that information on to command staff. Fortunately, the prior public contacts by Sector Ohio Valley Public Affairs personnel, coordinated by Public Information Officer LT Mike Metz, were effective in that a majority of boaters contacted were aware of the closure and thankful for the information the Coast Guard provided regarding the closure and boating conditions.

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The Show Goes On During the event, active duty Lt. Mike Metz, Lt. Jonathan Fassnacht, Lt. Elizabeth Stevens, Chief Petty Officer James Sharkey and other Coast Guard personnel worked in the air show command post as liaisons between the main Coast Guard command post on the Second Street Bridge and air show coordinators on the 24th floor of the Galt House Hotel, the local officials command post. At all times the safety of the participants and onlookers was the paramount concern of the entire team. At the conclusion of the air show, which lasted from 15:00 (3 p.m.) to about 21:30 (9:30 p.m.) and contained

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USCG Aux Photos by H William Smith

ABOVE: The largest fireworks show in North America capped the day’s activities during Thunder Over Louisville, the opening event leading up to the Kentucky Derby; also shown are samples of the “Thunder” that highlighted the daytime festivities.

about 30 different aircraft and parachutists, the Coast Guard coordinated the placement, and tying off of barges and their tugs that served as launch pads for the fireworks display. The fireworks that give the event its name lit up the night for about 30 minutes in an awe inspiring show that capped off the day.


From start to finish, Sector Ohio Valley’s Team Coast Guard worked seamlessly to meet a wide variety of unique challenges. By using all of its resources, the Coast Guard helped to insure that a showcase for the Louisville community lived up to its name safely for all concerned.



Creating The Navigator Express: A Lot Like Making Sausage Yes, though we hate to admit it, creating the Navigator Express is a lot like making sausage. Sausage is spicy, tastes mighty good and most people like it. But… a lot of folks don’t ever want to see how it’s made. And that’s a problem. Unless you like making sausage, or in our case this newsletter, finding folks willing to contribute their talents to the project is much like finding someone who has gone overboard. It ain’t easy. Putting together the Nav. Ex., as we lovingly call it, takes gathering a bunch of articles (ingredients) that come from writers located all over the country, throwing in pictures and other art (spice) and handing it over to our chief sausage maker, Design Editor Curt Pratt. Then, after Curt does his magic, we send it up the chain to our head chefs who do some mixing of their own. They send it up the chain even further for final touches and the seal of approval. Then we put it on a plate and offer it up to all of you. And, we hope you like it. Yup, it’s a lot like making sausage and that is about as far as I should stretch that metaphor. So, what’s the point? It’s simple, we need your help. It is often said that the Coast Guard and its Auxiliary are one of the best kept secrets in the United States military. We want to change that perception, one story and picture at a time if need be. But, we can’t do that if our members don’t participate. There is great work, exciting work, going on out there among America’s Volunteer Life Savers. Tell us about it! Take pictures! Get in the kitchen and cook! You never know, you might get to like making sausage and join us. We will welcome you with open arms… and let you make some sausage of your own. Sorry, I really like sausage.

NATIONAL STAFF Richard F. Mihalcik Director of Public Affairs Thea Narkiewicz Deputy Director, Publications

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Thomas Ceniglio Deputy Director, Support Robert Miller, M.D. Division Chief, Publications

© Copyright 2018 Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Navigator Express


EDITORIAL STAFF H William Smith Editor Roger Bazeley Assistant Editor Ed Morris Assistant Editor Curtis Pratt Layout Editor Review Team Brian Harte Mary Patton

CONTRIBUTORS Paul Farace USCG Aux Fan Ralph Fairbanks District Nine Western Joseph Giannattasio District Five Northern Lee Harrison District Eight Coastal COMO Harry Jacobs District Eleven Southern COMO Larry King District Eight Coastal Jim Losi District Eleven Northern Tracy Schultz District Eleven Northern Louis Volpato District One Southern Andrew Welch District Five Southern Lance Woodworth USCG Aux Fan


LEADERSHIP IN A VOLU Story by Commodore Larry King, Vice National Commodore

USCG Aux Photo by Lee Harrison Mobile, AL - Commodore Larry King addresses a group of Serve and Be Ready for Emergencies (SABRE) students prior to a week long training course that enables Auxiliarists to train and advance qualifications in the AUXAIR program.

A dictionary definition of “leader” is easy to understand. Simply stated, it is a person or thing that leads. Yet, the subject of leadership is so complex that a review has disclosed that nearly ten thousand new books on the subject of leadership have been published within the past five years. Anyone can be a leader, but certainly not everyone can be considered a “good” leader. The definition of “good leader” is variable depending on who you ask. If a unit achieves some important assigned goal, the


leader may be viewed as effective, therefore “good”. But if that unit is made up of superb performers, the leader may not be viewed as strong, rather, they may just be viewed as the senior person in a very good unit. This leads to a dilemma for many leaders and creates the tendency to overuse the word “I”. While a leader of a good unit may frequently verbalize praise to unit members for their performance, that same leader may tend to use the word “I” frequently when briefing senior leadership. So, which leader are you?


UNTEER ORGANIZATION Do you tend to take much of the credit for a job well done by unit members in which you are the leader? In an all- volunteer organization, does that sort of personal trait have a negative effect on morale and retention? Probably. It certainly doesn’t help unless taking credit for some good performance is completely justified. Although it may have been your idea and you orchestrated the performance of your unit, could you have accomplished the objective by yourself? It must be recognized that most everything we do requires a team effort so use of the word “us” or “we” should be prevalent. This “me versus us” leadership atmosphere becomes more complicated when one thinks about the mindset of a true volunteer. An all-volunteer organization attracts some idealists who believe deeply in certain principles, however, many idealists sometimes have unrealistically high expectations with their volunteer service. If those expectations are not met, idealists can morph into cynics. These are the ones who voice discontent about numerous aspects of their volunteer service, yet they remain as members indicating they probably still care about their organization. These members are the ones who fuss about uniforms, too many rules and regulations that seem unnecessary, and slow pace of change in meeting their expectations, etc. As we know, life in the real world is almost never ideal. Addressing the “Ideal versus reality” gap can be a significant challenge. Consequently, some leaders tend to ignore the cynics or discount them as malcontents. Neither of those approaches supports a healthy atmosphere in any organization, particularly in a group of volunteers. If you are the leader of a unit which has some cynics as members, how do you handle this challenge? There are many ways, some of which are counterproductive and can lead to morale/retention issues like those experienced in a “me versus us” atmosphere. Traditional wisdom says these members probably

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wouldn’t be so cynical if they didn’t still care. Good leaders in an “us” atmosphere can prevent or even reverse cynicism by actively helping members make sense of the “ideals versus reality” gap in a positive way. First, the leader has to acknowledge the gap exists. They have to engage members on how to either lower ideals or raise expectations closer to reality. Some “things” we can’t change because we can’t change them rapidly, won’t change because it is the “thing” to do, or don’t the authority to change. The point here is to engage members so they feel involved and that means their voices should be heard even if no change will come from it. Inefficient communications throughout any organization, volunteer or not, is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. Perhaps, a member in your unit became cynical because no one took the time to adequately engage that member in an explanation of why some rules or decisions exist or why they are needed. If that member has a better idea, most large volunteer organizations have a system in place to allow any member to make a formal recommendation on policy changes. That form of upward communication is an excellent tool for idealistic members to use before they become cynical, apathetic, or quit. As a leader, have you engaged any of your members this way? If not, why not? Please note I have not used the name USCG Auxiliary anyplace in this article. That was done on purpose since I suggest much of this short article could apply to most volunteer groups. All organizations, even if they are non-volunteer, have “me versus us” leaders and cynics in their midst which need to be addressed.


USCG Aux Photo

What a Way to


AUXAIR ICE PATROL ASSISTS ICE BREAKING EFFORTS Adapted from a PowerPoint presentation by Norm Freed 07-02 Over the Bow Winter 2018 US Coast Guard Auxiliary District 1 Southern Region

Albany, New York, the state’s capital, is dependent on the Hudson River for delivery of fuel oil by barge throughout the year. The Coast Guard, with the support of AUXAIR, is responsible for maintaining a passageway on the river when winter ice forms.

07-02). Larry chose the crew for this flight from the AUXAIR individuals who bid on the mission. The selected crew was Norm Freed (Air Crew/Co-Pilot 0702), Vincent Bocchimuzzo(Observer/Photographer 07-05), and Fred Bietsch, Observer/Comms 24-03).

On January 27, 2018, AUXAIR was assigned the Upper Hudson River Ice Patrol. The Pilot-in-Command of the mission was Larry Hochheiser (Aircraft Commander

As with any mission, the crew conducted a preflight briefing. The mission plan was reviewed, work assignments were discussed and delegated and



the GAR (Green Amber Red) Risk Assessment was discussed and agreed upon. For the Upper Hudson River patrol, a list of 17 reporting points was used. Photographs were taken facing northward up the Hudson River. All AUXAIR Ice Patrol crews are trained in estimating the percentages of fast and drift ice that are observed. Crews also report if an open “track” is evident. Most of these reporting points are “choke” points where ice is most likely to form and impede traffic. There are usually two or three ice cutters stationed on the Hudson River all winter. Though crews are not tasked to take pictures of the cutters, they often do

AUXAIR conducts Ice Patrol missions all winter. Patrol areas include: • Lower Hudson River (Sandy Hook, NJ to the George Washington Bridge) • Upper Hudson River (Tappan Zee Bridge to Troy, NY) • Long Island Sound (including the Connecticut and Thames Rivers) • Long Island South Shore

PREVIOUS PAGE: A USCG Ice Breaker works on the Hudson River. There are typically two or three ice cutters stationed on the river all winter. BELOW: L-R: Vincent Bocchimuzzo, Fred Bietsch, Lawrence Hochheiser prepare their flight plans.

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• Lake Champlain (from Whitehall, NY to the Canadian Border)

USCG Aux Photo

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Break the Ice

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USCG Aux Photo ABOVE: Aerial view of the Hudson River in Upstate New York, AUXAIR Ice Patrols often look for “choke” points on the river that might impede commercial traffic.

and then ask the Operations Duty Officer to forward them to the cutter’s crew. Cutter commanders appreciate the information.

a de-brief session. Both the good and could-beimproved-upon activities are discussed in an effort to improve performance.

Crews do contact the cutter commanders and ask if there is any tasking they would likeAUXAIR missions to address. This AUXAIR facility is capable of flying at 200 knots per hour and can see far up and down the river. Occasionally crews are requested to look for traffic at specific points on the river and report back.

The photographs that were taken are reviewed and the best example for each reporting point is selected, labeled and forwarded (along with a post-mission report) to Sector New York. The report must be submitted within 4 hours of the mission completion. Ice Patrol missions take place on a daily basis.

Crews do take photographs of vessel traffic on the river. Though the Coast Guard knows the position of these vessels via transponder, AUXAIR supplies visual confirmation of their position. Positions of vessels that are or will be passing one another are also reported. Positions are reported by both landmarks and latitude and longitude.

The AUXAIR flights provide valuable information and a set of eyes in the sky that assist the Coast Guard in keeping the river safe and the flow of heating oil coming to Albany and points north.

At the completion of the mission the crew conducts



David E. Hoffman Receives Innovation Award

USCG Aux Photo Admiral Zukunft addresses team coast guard at the response center for Harvey at Sector Houston-Galveston

Story by Thomas Ceniglio and Andrew Welch

The Coast Guard Innovation Program annually selects innovation award winners from Coast Guard members who have made an outstanding contribution to new and innovative ways of doing business over the last year. This annual award is given to active duty, Reserve, Auxiliary, or civilian personnel. Anyone can nominate a recipient via the program’s website, so this is not an award process that goes through the chain of leadership for multiple approvals. The Coast Guard’s purpose is to create way for headquarters to identify and recognize members that are doing work directly in the field. The Innovation Program Office (CG-926) selected Dave Hoffman (1226122) of Flotilla 081-0610 to receive an innovation award from the Commandant, due to the following contribution: “Sector Houston-Galveston’s connection to the Coast Guard computer network was an early casualty of Hurricane Harvey. Chaos in the command centers increased as phone calls became the primary means of moving SAR information. Aux Hoffman used the cellular network and cloud-based tools to create an ad-hoc mission management platform that became a game-changer for the massive rescue effort.” David Hoffman’s Flotilla Commander Don Brown notes that David is a very pleasant and easy going volunteer. He said that David is supportive and becomes a remarkable dynamo for the Auxiliary and gold side synergy. David did what needed to be done and he stepped in and set up a system to restore the critical data that was originally inaccessible.

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Setting Sail:

Safety First Story by Edward Morris

Photo courtesy of Lance Woodworth




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Recently I accompanied the U.S. Coast Guard inspection team, based at Sector Buffalo, New York as they sailed aboard the ship Niagara out of Erie, Pennsylvania. The Niagara is a 198-foot wooden replica of the Brig Niagara that was in the War of 1812. The ship’s crew consists of five officers, 18 professional crewmen and a host of volunteer sailors. The Niagara operates as a sailing school vessel and must undergo annual inspections to maintain her Certificate of Inspection (COI). The Sector Buffalo inspection team consisted of Chief Warrant Officer David Baisden, Lt.j.g. Amanda Garcia, and Petty Officer 1st Class Rebecca Newell. They had arrived a day earlier to insure all of the ship’s safety paperwork was in full compliance with all safety regulations. The Niagara safety officer, Fourth Mate Sydnee Groenendaal proved this to be so. Prior to our sail, I had spent the night aboard the Niagara complements of Captain William Sabatini. This provided me with an opportunity to interview Chief Mate David Goldman. David is a most competent first mate and provided me with some excellent historical data on the Niagara. She was built in 1988 and had her first sailing season in 1991. The ship can carry up to 100 passengers and regularly works with various high school and colleges with their students as it pertains to science, history and seamanship programs. When sailing, the ship has on board her own medical officer, OS Ceci Weissert, an EMT trained

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Safety First!

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USCG Photo

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USCG Aux Photo

individual to assist with any unexpected medical emergency. The ship carries 12,000 sq ft of sail, draws 11 feet and weighs 311 tons fully loaded. The Niagara has been pictured in several movies. One of which was “Into the Deep” a documentary on the US whaling industry that details a portrayal of the Essex ship, the precursor for the novel Moby Dick. As we left the dock, the weather conditions were less than ideal. Some fog had settled in and the wind was blowing a steady 10 knots. Nevertheless the Coast Guard crew remained vigilant and quickly set about their duties. They observed numerous drills, sail evolutions and inspected much equipment. Chief Warrant Officer Baisden was not adversarial, but helpful and most thorough in his duties. He carefully watched over all drills such as man overboard, fire and abandon ship procedures. He went down into the engine room checking the bilge pumps and insuring that the high water alarms were fully operational. Crew proficiency and ship procedures all came under his and his team’s watchful eye. Nothing was given to chance. Even the low air alarm on the breathing tank for the fireman was tested.

USCG Aux Photo

As these drills were being conducted I notice how efficiently the Niagara crew was performing. Both the professional and the volunteer crew worked in excellent unison as each safety operation was performed. Should the crew have failed in any aspect of safety, Chief Warrant Officer Baisden and his staff were ready to issue a citation and even a “No Sail” should the situation warrant it. However, this was never an issue. The ship’s crew passed with flying colors in every operation. When the trip ended, a debriefing was held in the wardroom with the ship’s officers to finalize the day’s events. Congratulations were indeed in order. I must say that when the Niagara sails this year, the public can rest assured that this vessel has been carefully scrutinized by the Coast Guard and is fully prepared to sail safety.

USCG Aux Photo

STORY COVER: The Brig Niagara under full sail off of South Bass Island, Ohio on Lake Erie. PREVIOUS PAGE: The Niagara in port silently awaiting her crew. ABOVE TOP: Auxiliarist Edward Morris, MK1 Rebecca Newell, and LTjg Amanda Garcia stand ready for duty as the ship prepares to get underway. ABOVE: CWO David Baisden shares his inspection results with LTjg Amanda Garcia on engine room safety.

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USCG Aux Photo

Lights...Camera...V. E.

Auxiliarist Jack Kelly explains and demonstrates the Auxiliary’s vessel safety inspection to area news networks.

District Fifth Northern Members Demonstrate

Vessel Safety Inspection on Recreational Vessel Story and Photo by Joseph Giannattasio

Atlantic City—The Coast Guard Auxiliary Division Eight (5NR) invited media members to attend a vessel safety inspection at Coast Guard Station Atlantic City in Atlantic City on April 27th. Auxiliarists demonstrated a vessel safety inspection, talked about required marine equipment and provided recommendations to boat owners operating in local waters as boating season begins., for video crews from three regional news television stations. Vessel safety inspections are important because they gives recreational boaters peace of mind that their boat meets federal safety standards and that in an emergency they will have the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help. Auxiliarist Jack Kelly and Stan Friedman also talked about “If Found” stickers, which are recommended for owners of kayaks, canoes, windsurfing boards and paddleboards. “If Found” stickers are meant to readily identify the owner of a found paddle craft, enabling emergency services to confirm the whereabouts of the owner. The idea is to make certain that no one is missing or in need of assistance, saving search and rescue efforts and resources while reuniting the craft with its owner. Viewers were also informed that boat owners interested in getting a free safety check can download the United States Coast Guard mobile app or visit their website.




To the Ten D11SR Members Completing the 16-Hour AUXPA Refresher Workshop USCG Aux Photo

Story by Commodore Harry Jacobs

Ten members of Distric11SR endured 16-hours of intensive public affairs training under the supervision of Public Affairs Chief Petty Officer Michael Anderson, USCGR and Commodore Harry Jacobs, ADSO-PA (Training), over a two-day period. The evolution was conducted in the ward room of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, in San Pedro, California, which houses the Vessel Traffic Service for the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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Trainees received instruction in 25 different aspects of public affairs designed to prepare them for their PQS sign-offs and oral boards associated with the auxiliary’s Public Affairs Specialist Program. Feedback on the workshop evaluations indicated that the investment of time and effort resulted in learning. Trainees were presented certificates of completion signed by Chief Anderson and Commodore Jacobs at a recognition ceremony Sunday afternoon.





D11N Auxiliarists Serve On Board the

USCGC GEORGE COBB and the USCGC ASPEN Buoy Tenders Story by Roger Bazeley



USCG Aux Photo by Roger Bazeley

Article by Linda Merryman, DNACO-ITP

USCG Photo


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Cobb & Aspen

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PREVIOUS PAGE: Auxiliarist Gary Kaplan, District 11 Northern, and Lt. Patrizio USCG on USCGC ASPEN bridge. ABOVE: The Buoy Tenders, U COBB, docked in San Francisco, CA preparing for fleet week activities.

Invited USCG AUX Members and Guests spent the day on board the unique U.S. Coast Guard Coastal Buoy Tender Vessel CGC GEORGE COBB (WLM 564) which in spite of being Homeported at San Pedro, California has very specific historic ties to the San Francisco Bay area by virtue of being named in honor of the Point Bonito light-keeper George Cobb and his life saving heroism in 1896. On December 26, 1896, George Cobb the lighthouse keeper of the Point Bonita lighthouse rescued three young men who came close to drowning nearby. For this feat George Cobb was awarded the Silver Lifesaving Medal. The USCGC GEORGE COBB that was launched in December 18, 1999 was the last of 14 “Keeper Class” coastal buoy tenders named for lighthouse keepers, and is named in his honor. USCGC GEORGE COBB is 175’ in length, with a beam of 46’ and a draft of 13’, that carries a crew compliment of 22, and two officers, The Keeper Class cutters were designed for a variety



USCG Aux Photo by Roger Bazeley


USCG Aux Photo by Roger Bazeley ABOVE: Rebuilt Bell Buoy in foreground with Buoy Tender USCGC Aspen, behind.

of missions, including maintaining aids to navigation, search and rescue, law enforcement, migrant interdiction, marine safety inspections, environmental protection and natural resources management. They can also be used for light ice breaking operations. The cutter is fitted with two mechanical Z-drive azimuth thruster propulsion units instead of the usual rudder and propeller arrangement. The two thrusters can rotate independently and when combined with the bow thruster, they make it possible to maintain a precise position with the push of one button once the ship is on station. The cutter’s propulsion system makes highly accurate placement of Aids to Navigation possible. Prior to departure from Sector San Francisco, to spend the day anchored out by Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay for the day’s Fleet Week boating activities and aviation shows which included the famous Navy Blue Angels, we visited the ship’s historic commemorative wall highlighting the ship’s dedication to Light Keeper George Cobb. We toured the ship’s bridge and

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Cobb & Aspen

USCG Aux Photo

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USCG Aux Photo by Jim Losi ABOVE: Auxiliarist Jim Losi (right) on the bridge of the USCGC ASPEN where he earned his Cutterman Insignia.


navigation control areas with the captain and Auxiliarist Gary Kaplan, who upon completing his training and qualifications will eventually become the 12th of only 11 USCG Auxiliarists to earn the “Cutterman” qualification and insignia. There are two District Eleven North Auxiliarists serving on buoy tenders and other cutters: Gary Kaplan, who is working toward his USCG “Cutterman” status and insignia while training on the USCGC GEORGE COBB, USCGC Aspen and USCGC Pike, and James G. Losi, FSO-FN of Flotilla 12-91, who has already earned the USCG “Cutterman” status - he was awarded his Cutterman Insignia in 2015. Auxiliarist Losi usually serves on the Buoy Tender USCGC ASPEN, which is usually homeported at Sector San Francisco, while the USCGC COBB is homeported in San Pedro, CA. The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard commended Mr. James G. Losi for “outstanding performance of duty” while serving as Auxiliary Chef onboard USCGC ASPEN, San Francisco, California from 26 May to 01 July 2015.



by Roger Bazeley

EN Crew and GALLEY Chef with food service Auxiliarists John C. Foley and Patricia C. McSwain from District 11 Northern.

The citation noted that Mr. Losi “prepared and serviced over 114 meals for 47 crew members at a time during a five-week operational period; … facilitated serving sixteen Aids-to-Navigation stretching from the Oregon – California border to San Francisco; and during ASPEN’s biannual Tailored Ships Training Availability, participated in 104 drills, attended many shipboard trainings... and was voted by the instructors as ASPEN’S ‘most valuable player.’” It was during Mr. Losi’s first extended six day patrol that he decided to ask for endorsement to engage in the requisite training needed to acquire the Coast Guard Auxiliary Cutter man Insignia, “which is intended to identify and recognize the commitment of Coast Guard Auxiliarists currently working in the cutter fleet who have regularly dedicated their efforts in support of the cutter community.” With the encouragement of USCGC ASPEN crew and officers, Mr. Losi completed, among other requirements for the cutter insignia, (which program he highly recommends to interested Auxiliarists cited at of “serving at least 52 days per year aboard a cutter 65’ in length or greater” and “completing the

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USCG Aux Photo by Roger Bazeley

Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS Special and Emergency Operations and

Gary Kaplan serving on the CGC GEOR the same program as James Losi has o USCGC GEORGE COBB the last of the with its shallower draft suitable for delta and USCGC ASPEN as specialized buoy critical navigational aids for making our U waterways safe for commercial maritime USCG Aux Photo by Jim Losi



Clockwise from left: 1)Crew Fire Training, 2) Gary Kaplan showing Fire Suppression/Water and Compartment Control Panel. 3) Jim Losi with a USCG cutter crewmember, 4) Gary Kaplan poses with a USCG NOAA Specialist under the rebuilt buoy, 5) Coast Guard Crew and Gary Kaplan, 6)Auxiliarist John C. Foley posing in the USCGC ASPEN galley.

USCG Aux Photo by Jim Losi

USCG Aux Photo by Roger Bazeley


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S) for Damage Control, Watch Station, d Procedure.”

RGE COBB has also been going through on the larger CGC ASPEN than the 175’ e smaller “Keeper Class” Buoy Tender a and river missions. The USCGC COBB y tenders play a vital role in maintaining U.S. coasts, ports, lakes and navigational e use and recreational boating activities.

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USCG Aux Photo by Roger Bazeley

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Photos courtesy of USS Cod Memorial

shines all year long USS Cod thanks to Auxiliarist Mike Patena Story by Paul Farace, president, USS Cod Submarine Memorial

With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the background, the USS Cod gleams like a beacon to visitors and residents of the North Coast.

USS Cod, the WW II submarine that has called Cleveland home for the last 59 years seems a bit out of place on Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor, so far from any Navy base. The 312-foot gray and black fleet submarine that once sent thousands of tons of Japanese ships to the briny deep today hosts tours by grade school children and fascinated baby boomers who discover the sub on their way to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just up the street. When in commission Cod could count on the financial support of the Pentagon and the efforts of Navy personnel and shipyard visits to keep her ahead of the rust battle. Today in civilian hands, the sub is entirely financed by the admission and donations of her visitors. But money alone doesn’t stop rust. It takes the combined efforts of her crew, composed of an amazing variety of Clevelanders, from housewives and college students to burly vets of all branches of the Armed Forces.


As director of the Cod project, I understand that recruiting and maintaining the enthusiasm of the volunteers is a major aspect of my job. Always on the lookout for new crew, I was blessed to cross paths a few years back with one especially dedicated volunteer, Mike Patena. Mike is a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and a retired employee of FirstEnergy, a major electrical utility. Mike joined the crew and immediately went to work helping with major and minor electrical issues aboard the sub. From arranging the donation of an expensive electric meter to providing the latest industry expertise on electrical safety matters, Mike became a highly valued member of the team. But unlike his 9-to-5-job, Mike’s efforts on behalf of the sub went far beyond the confines of his electrical training. Just like a small crew of a submarine, Mike has brought his skills and drive to bear on matters totally unrelated to voltages… such as signage to


alert the public on the presence of a submarine on Cleveland’s lakefront and how to find it!

penetrate the invisible walls of the giant illumination maker. That is until we unleashed Mike. Within a short time Mike had convinced the giant corporation to donate a new 1,000-watt equivalent floodlight. Within a few weeks the new lamp turned Cod into a beacon of freedom at night and save lots of money in electric bills that could be put to use in buying Rustoleum paint! To add to the effect and honor the Cod’s status as a memorial, we decided that the American flag should fly over the boat day and night, all year long, and not just when we were open for tours. To do so would require us to illuminate the flag on the flagpole. Mike quickly arranged for the donation of a not only an LED spot for the flag, but another light to illuminate our conning tower on the side facing the lake, so every boater could see the veteran floating in the harbor.

For years veteran Cod crew had pushed and nudged the City to consider road signs to direct folks in the downtown area to our doorstep. For many reasons it didn’t happen and we were always pulled away by more immediate issues. That is until Mike took the challenge. By shear will and persistence he pushed City officials for signs alerting visitors to our National Historic Landmark that just happens to have deck guns and periscopes. I warned Mike to be prepared for disappointment when dealing with City Hall. I guess I should have warned City Hall to be prepared for Mike Patena! In the spring of 2016 after a sustained campaign by Mike, the City contacted me for approval of a series of signs they would soon install along the Shoreway and East 9th St! Just before opening day for the season, the signage was in place and has significantly helped to increase the flow of paying visitors to Cod ever since!

To show that he isn’t limited to signs and lights, Mike brought fresh water to the Cod’s docksite by installing PVC pipes and faucets along the sea wall just last season. The ability to water our lawn, wash our dishes and clean the boat is a tremendous benefit and eliminates the need to truck in bottled water!

Not one to rest on his laurels, Mike began searching for his next challenge. And with a 75-year-old submarine, they aren’t hard to find. Our beloved sub was illuminated at night by a 1,000-watt flood light installed decades ago to light the memorial sub. But new LED technology had arrived that could replace the greenish light of the old lamp with clean white light, and best of all, at a tiny fraction of the cost to operate! Ironically the maker of these very expensive LED floods is right here in Cleveland, General Electric! My calls over the years to Nela Park bore little fruit. Without inside contacts, an outsider just couldn’t

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Flotilla Commander Mike Patena (center) being congratulated by trustees on receiving his USS Cod Crew Jacket.

There really isn’t any way to sufficiently thank a crewman for the amount of dedication and work that Mike has lavished on Cod. But we are always trying. Mike was awarded in 2017 with a USS Cod Crew Jacket as a token of our appreciation. And going forward, we can face the unknown challenges of maintaining and restoring an old US submarine, confident in the knowledge that with Mike on the team we can do anything!


USCG Aux Photo

Our Chaplaincy Story by Edward Morris, ADSO-PA 9 Eastern

As our nation has been, and will be, under assault from multiple dangers, the need for spiritual support and counseling remains a high priority. The office of the U.S. Coast Guard Chaplaincy is meeting this need through its regular chaplaincy ministration and also with the use of the new Auxiliary Clergy Support (ACS) program. I recently had an opportunity to speak with Chaplain Ron O’Dell at the Cleveland Ninth District Coast Guard Station and learn of the tremendous duties that he and his fellow chaplains carry out to support these needs and how the new ACS program will be of benefit to his office. “Chap” as he is affectionately called by his shipmates is one of 40 chaplains that are billeted to the Coast Guard from the U.S. Navy Department. These chaplains provide multiple pastoral duties for all Coast Guard personnel. Such duties include marriage ceremonies, baptisms, funerals, memorial services, bible studies and burials at sea. In addition to these, they must also provide suicide prevention counseling and arrange for a host of various religious programs. All chaplains are rotated between the Coast Guard, Navy and the Marines. They report directly to Admiral Noonan at the Washington DC office. They are


officially ranked by the Navy. As non-combatants, chaplains are not allowed to carry weapons in combat and must rely on their fellow soldiers for protection. The care that chaplains provide must extend to all faiths and not just that of Christianity. There are four collar devices that chaplains are authorized to wear depending on their own particular faith. These are the Christian cross, the Jewish tablet of commandments, the Muslim crescent moon and the Buddha wheel. Each chaplain is free to minister to those within his or her faith without fear of persecution, but is expected to provide overall care to all without discrimination. With the limited resources that Coast Guard chaplains have to work with, Chaplain O’Dell is most appreciative of the new Auxiliary Clergy Support program. He and other chaplains are looking forward to laboring with the Auxiliary as they strive to continue meeting the spiritual demands of our sailors and their families. Chaplain O’Dell is a native of South Carolina and first enlisted in the Marine Corps where he originally served as a paralegal. He entered the chaplaincy service in 2003 after completing his seminary studies and training at Erskine Seminary. He is currently celebrating his 26 year marriage and he and his wife have two children.


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BOAT CREW TRAINING Story and Photos by Joseph Giannattasio

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PREVIOUS PAGE: Active Duty member from USCG Station Cape May, NJ demonstrate heaving line technique to Auxiliary Boat Crew trainees. BELOW: Auxiliary Boat Crew trainees give a “thumbs up” during their swimming task. Left to Right: Mathew Kremer, Del Campbell, Gary Waltz, Marty Sannino, Ray Kreszswick.



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Spring is the best time of year to prepare your vessel, your equipment and your life jackets for the start of Auxiliary patrol season. It is also a perfect time to prepare members with boat crew training. In the beginning of the year District Fifth Northern Division Eight members interested in pursuing boat crew qualifications attended a six-weekend crew school organized and coordinated by John Tredinnick and Ralph Atwell (FL82). Joseph Giannattasio QE and a cadre of instructors included Glena Tredinnick, Tony Kupstas, James Carey, and Jim McCarty AUX-TCT provided the trainees a well-rounded curriculum of training to prepare them for task completions and qualifications. A bonus for the boat crew candidates was receiving instruction and demonstrations from the active duty from U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape May. The Coast Guard Auxiliary Boat Crew School provides trainees with theoretical and practical knowledge in safety, first aid, seamanship, navigation, boat operations, vessel construction, basic principles of marine engines and minor repairs, vessel handling, distress situations, and other topics related to Auxiliary vessel operations. Working with experienced trainers and active duty personnel, boat crew schools organized within flotilla or division units provides members wishing to obtain their boat crew qualification a wonderful venue to learn and work as a team. Once qualified, members can patrol area waters assisting the Coast Guard in recreational boater safety. CLOCKWISE from BOTTOM LEFT: Mentor Tony Kupstas (left) demonstrates marlinspike tips to trainee Marty Sannino; Boat Crew trainees are given a behind-the-scenes opportunity from Radio Watch-standers at USCG Station Cape May; Division 08 (5NR) Boat Crew Trainees are presented their Certificates of Completion at USCG Station Cape May.



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USCG Aux Photo

Story by Tracy Schultz and Lou Volpato Photo by Tracy Schultz

College students entered the large media room while Auxiliarist Robert Clark, Staff Officer for Diversity in Division 12 and Flotilla Staff Officer for Diversity for Flotilla 12-01, warmly greeted them to a meeting of the Semper Paratus Club of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF). He introduced a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary video and, for a few moments, the students watched in silence while it played. The students were excited by all the opportunities they saw. After the video finished, Clark addressed the students, discussing the Club in more detail and introduced club officers and various guests. Clark was soon answering questions while handing out flyers regarding that weekend’s volunteer activities. Clark made his way around the room and, when he got to the front again, discussed the club in greater detail, sharing additional information regarding the Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as reviewing what is expected of club members, such as meeting attendance, good grades, community service involvement, etcetra. Uniformed Auxiliary guest speakers then discussed specifics of various opportunities in the Auxiliary, as well as answered general questions. At every turn the community college students were presented with creative and valuable ways to serve their country and the community. Enthusiasm and smiles ran rampant as the energy built and Clark’svision of accountable


students making a difference came to fruition. When the meeting concluded, a local Auxiliarist representative was available to do fingerprinting should any students choose to join the Auxiliary. Robert Clark is the inspiration and founder of the Semper Paratus Club of CCSF. Initially, he wanted to establish an Auxiliary University Program (AUP) at City College of San Francisco to help spread the news about the Auxiliary, as well as encourage students to volunteer and help out in their community. He knew it would also be a great recruiting tool and add diversity to the Auxiliary ranks. The Auxiliary University Program is a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary managed initiative that was established in 2007 and has nearly 200 students in 20 units representing more than 30 colleges and universities across the United States. The AUP is formed as a detachment of a local flotilla and prepares undergraduate and graduate students for future public service inside and outside of the Coast Guard. The AUP provides opportunities for students to gain boating education, operational and leadership experience and to learn about homeland security. Unfortunately, the AUP is not structured for community colleges and did not exactly reflect what Clark had in mind. So, he brainstormed with his wife, Dr. Felita Clark, Division 12 Staff Officer for Human


Resources and also a tenured faculty member at CCSF and in March 2017 created the Semper Paratus Club of CCSF. The first semester that it was operational, he had about fifty students. Today, in just its second semester, it has more than seventy students. Robert Clark is an accomplished and tenured faculty member at City College of San Francisco. In addition to being members of the Auxiliary, both Robert and his wife Felita, club co-advisor, are active duty members of the California State Military Reserve. Robert is “Semper Paratus” (always ready). He is also “Semper Gumby” (always flexible), which often is the unofficial motto of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The club adheres to all regulations and rules of CCSF and has various officers who represent the club at required functions. Clark oversees activities and fulfills the role as the club’s faculty supervisor. The stated mission of the Semper Paratus Club of CCSF is to provide community service and volunteer opportunities for CCSF students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Coast Guard. Therefore, even students who are not currently considering membership in the Auxiliary or the U.S. Coast Guard can become more familiar with the opportunities offered by both organizations and decide at a later time if they wish to become more involved. An additional benefit of the Club has been to increase the diversity within the flotillas of Div. 12.

capacity due to their present challenges. Most club officers have perfect 4.0 grade point averages, and over 90% of club members have 3.0 or better grade point averages. The Semper Paratus Club of CCSF plans to offer and promote workshops and trainings on the City College of San Francisco campus and in nearby Bay Area communities during the academic year. These events will be in collaboration with the American Red Cross, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the USCG Auxiliary and USCG, focusing on topics such as water safety, disaster preparedness, first aid, public education and community involvement in Coast Guard activities. Clark hopes that the success of the Semper Paratus Club of CCSF may serve as a template for other San Francisco Bay Area colleges, as well as colleges outside the Bay Area, to increase the diversity pool of potential Auxiliary and/or U.S. Coast Guard members/candidates. Bravo Zulu to Robert Clark, his wife Felita and all of their students in the Semper Paratus Club!

Since its inception, approximately twenty club members are currently in the process of becoming Auxiliarists and one is pursuing active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard. Once club members become Auxiliarists, they will also be recommended to apply for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program (AUP). Additionally, during the Spring 2017 semester, four club members successfully completed the About Boating Safety class, sponsored by Flotilla 12-01, and are looking forward to more training opportunities. This past summer, nine members completed the required FEMA on-line classes for the Auxiliary. The Semper Paratus Club members represent a wide range of ages, cultures and ethnicities, including members of the disabled community who never thought they could assist the U.S. military in any

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USCG Aux Photo


USCG Aux Photo by Carrie Perni

Dr. Mark Perni Graduates from Air Force Flight Surgeon Training Dr. Mark Perni graduated from U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeon training at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on 13 April, 2018. His graduation is the culmination of a lot of hard work fueled by a passion for service to the United States Coast Guard and its Auxiliary. Perni is now one of only two Auxiliary doctors who have completed the demanding course of study and hands-on training. His certification will enable Perni to serve in active duty aviation situations as a flight surgeon, a qualification that is much in demand.

USCG Aux Photo by Carrie Perni

ABOVE: Dr. Mark Perni’s pride in accomplishment is obvious after graduating from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine’s flight surgeon training. RIGHT: Though Perni was a long way from home, local Dayton, Ohio Flotilla Commander Tony Norman, (082-06-02), at right, and Vice Flotilla Commander Larry Stienke were privileged to support a fellow Auxiliarist at the pinning, as Perni graduated from U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeon training at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Perni’s graduation makes him one of the first flight surgeons in Auxiliary history.



The First USCGC ESCANABA Was Lost... But Still Not Forgotten. On a cold Sunday morning, June 13th, 1943, the USCGC Escanaba was to see her last days afloat with little forewarning or evidence of her imminent danger. 103 officers and crew would meet their demise in 39 degree water with only 2 survivors. She had been escorting other ships on her last convoy duty in the North Atlantic during World War II, heading for St. Johns, Newfoundland. At 0510 on that day other ships reported seeing a large explosion on board and only minutes later she sank. Was it an enemy submarine, a floating mine, or an onboard incident that triggered the blast? The cause is unclear but the sinking was a shock to the other ships, family members, and the citizens of Grand Haven, Michigan, where she was homeported. So much so, that she has been honored every year in Grand Haven on that date, this being the 75th year since the sinking. A special park was dedicated in Grand Haven, and a few of the ship’s articles were placed in the park, including her mast and a lifeboat. The people of Grand Haven were so saddened by the event that they raised over $1 million to build a second Escanaba and in 1946 that ship was launched and served faithfully until 1974. A third Escanaba, commissioned in 1987, is currently afloat and stationed out of Boston, Massachusetts.

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Story and Photo by Ralph Fairbanks


AUXILIARY AUXILIARIST WINS REGIONAL BOATING EDUCATOR AWARD The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) announced the regional winners of the Boating Educator of the Year Award. The Northern Region award recipient is John Steinbarge of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in the State of New York. John began his volunteer boating safety educator career at age 63 and continues as strong and committed and inspirational as ever at age 80. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2001 and received

their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. John’s passion is evident through the time he spends teaching, mentoring, networking, actively patrolling, and thinking of new and innovative ideas to teach boating safety. His dedication can be seen through the number of safety events in which he participates and/or organizes to foster engagement in boating safety for the recreational boating public. John became a New York Safe Boating Instructor with New York State Parks in 2015.

NOW HEAR THIS: “ATTENTION” Any member desiring initial appointment or reappointment as an ANACO or National Director for the two year period commencing on 1 November 2018 and ending on 31 October 2020 should submit a cover letter, resume, and any other information you desire to be considered, to Larry King, Vice National Commodore at [email protected] or Commodore Larry King, 1213 Westwood Road, Pascagoula, MS 39567 not later than 1 August 2018. Applications, resumes, or additional information submitted after that date will not be considered. Commodore Richard Washburn National Commodore


COVER PHOTOS Front: USCG Reservists start their patrol of the flooded waterways around Louisville Back: Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles from the 335th Fighter Squadron buzz the evening sky above Louisville.


SCUTTLEBUTT ‘scut·tle·butt:

A drinking fountain in the Coast Guard is called scuttlebutt. A scuttlebutt in old days was a cask that had openings in the side, fitted with a spigot. Sailors used to congregate at the scuttlebutt or cask of water, to gossip or report on day’s activities.*

On this page you will find

important updates and links to critical information to keep you up-to-date on the current happenings in the Auxiliary. * from the USCG Glossary

SEND US YOUR Publications, Articles & Photos We’d love to see what you’re doing and share it with the rest of the Auxiliary!

Articles and Photos

79th Birthday for USCG Auxiliary On June 23, 2018, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrates its 79th anniversary of outstanding service to the U.S. Coast Guard, the American public, and recreational boaters and professional mariners around the world. In recognition of this celebratory waypoint in its distinguished history, the Auxiliary headlines the “Coast Guard Compass,” the official blog of the U.S. Coast Guard. Rich Mihalcik (D 1 Southern, National Director of Government and Public Affairs) and Kevin Conquest (D 11 Southern, National Division Chief - Cyber) have again teamed up to provide a richly-deserved testament to the Auxiliary’s remarkable contributions and unparalleled heritage of gallant service. Please read this inspirational article at:

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US Coast Guard Auxiliary please visit


NAVIGATOR EXPRESS • All members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary • Coast Guard Auxiliary Association Inc. members and staff

Note: please add [email protected] to your address book. Messages sent from that email address are official messages of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.


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Auxiliary members who are interested in applying for any of the National offices should visit

All Auxiliary members are encouraged to remain engaged. Be sure to log-on and update your profile at:

OR express index.php. Here, members will find

opportunities listed and contact information for each position. Members should be prepared to submit forms 7062, 7063, and a copy of their resume.

DISCLAIMER “The appearance of any product or service advertisement on the site to which any link is directed does not constitute, and shall not be construed as, an endorsement of that product or service by the United States Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary.”


USCG Aux Photo by H William Smith