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NAVIGATOR express Auxiliary Answers The Call From Hurricane Florence

plus Readiness was the key for District 7 AUXAIR Sector North Carolina in the Bulls Eye of the Hurricane

USCG Aux Photo by Robert A. Fabich

Ready, Responsive and Relevant The Auxiliary Answers When Florence Comes to Call Story by H William Smith and Jon Hunt

USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

The entire nation saw it coming, and when Hurricane Florence bashed into the Carolinas, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary stood ready to answer the call. Florence was like that obnoxious relative that shows up and stays too long – way too long for the folks in North and South Carolina and beyond. As the wind howled and massive rain totaled up Auxiliary members throughout the nation showed their willingness to lend a hand.

There are times when the call is to be ready and able to respond and for many Auxiliary members, that was the extent of their participation in the event. While being ready to respond, and not getting deployed can be frustrating, it is still a relevant part of the total picture. Command has to know that it has

What follows is a sampling of the many ways the Auxiliary takes U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl Schultz’s motto, “Ready, Responsive and Relevant,” to heart. The Auxiliary’s support of the U.S. Coast Guard and its efforts to lessen the suffering experienced in the Carolinas shows it is Semper Paratus when the call to duty comes. ABOVE: David Desplaces, Walter Runck, and Michael Young (l to r), members of the East Cooper, South Carolina Flotilla, on patrol in Charleston Harbor, coordinating movements with the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Cormorant shortly after the passage of Hurricane Florence. RIGHT: Viewing the devastation from above.

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USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

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the resources in place to handle anything an event throws at them and often that is the Auxiliary’s job. In that regard, the Auxiliary did its job beautifully. In concentric circles emanating from Florence’s landfall, Auxiliarists stood ready to lend support and while there were only a few at the tip of the spear, there were plenty of resources available along the shaft. Boat crews were ready and when needed, got underway; pilots, aircrew and observers were ready and when called got airborne; Public Affairs was ready to tell the story and support personnel stood at the ready from across the nation. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, there has been close coordination and shared missions between both the Auxiliary and the active duty side. With widespread devastation in the low lying coastal areas, Auxiliary surface and air units have been called upon as force multipliers.

One example of joint team operations occurred on the Little River, which separates North Carolina from South Carolina, extending up the intra-coastal waterway into North Carolina. A USCG Aids to Navigation team (ANT) based in Georgetown, S.C. conducted side scan sonar operations searching for underwater debris aboard Coast Guard unit 26173, a 26’ boat used in shallow water operations. Led by BM1 Ryan Lundy, along with MK2 Tim Taylor and MK3 James Flores, they combined with National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration personnel Alex Ligon, Mike Annis and Joshua Bergeron in scanning the sea bed for navigational hazards. In conjunction with their operations, Auxiliary Facility “Coeur De Corsair”, attached to the East Cooper Flotilla in South Carolina, assisted them in identifying missing and damaged navigational markers on the surface. Led by Auxiliary Coxswain Walter A. Runck

BELOW: Auxiliarist Luc Georget of East Cooper flotilla 12-6 prepares his facility on the morning of September 18, 2018 in North Myrtle Beach, SC, over 100 miles from his home. Trailerable Auxiliary facilities can be deployed rapidly in a crisis to increase the Coast Guard’s presence in waters remote from large cities.

NOTE FROM THE DIRECTORATE: Auxiliarists, when responding to a case or incident where the Coast Guard and public may be involved, please be sure to always check with your Order Issuing Authority and command in the AOR (Area Of Response) regarding any questions about what the proper uniform of the day is and adhere to that standard

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USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

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ANSWERING THE CALL

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THIS PAGE: Auxiliary facility, “Coeur De Corsair,” from East Cooper flotilla 12-6, nears a derelict vessel on the Little River during a post-hurricane navigation survey. Auxiliary facilities play an important role in surveying aids to navigation and the conditions of navigable waterways in the aftermath of hurricanes.

USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

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ANSWERING THE CALL

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USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich ABOVE: Auxiliary Facility “Couer De Corsair” of East Cooper Flotilla 12-6 makes a rendezvous on the water with a Coast Guard ANT team on the Little River. A NOAA side scanning sonar boom can be seen deployed amidships on the port side. BELOW: Auxiliarist David Desplaces of flotilla 12-6 surveys Charleston, SC harbor during a post-hurricane harbor patrol. In the background, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter conducts hoisting drills with a Charleston Harbor Pilot Boat. BOTTOM: David and fellow Auxiliarist Michael Young conduct a waterway survey on Shem’s Creek outside of Charleston.

and assisted by boat crewman Luke M. Georget, they trailered their facility over one hundred miles to assist in post hurricane Aids to Navigation patrols. The East Cooper, South Carolina Flotilla, 12-6, is an experienced group in assisting in post hurricane operations. They have done so for three consecutive years after hurricanes Mathew, Irma and Florence. They are a dedicated group and pride themselves on being able to be underway within a half hour’s notice for deployment. They conduct numerous area patrols in their own Area of responsibility, (AOR), as well as conducting operations as far south as Savannah and as far north as the North Carolina border with other Auxiliary units. They are also extensively involved with the active duty in conducting regularly scheduled helicopter/surface unit training.

USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

The operations were of further significance in that an Auxiliary surface unit from District Seven was actively patrolling/surveying damage in District Five and assisting in recovery efforts. It is an example of Coast Guard assets, both active and Auxiliary, coming to aid and assist in time of need, regardless of distance. That is what being ready, responsive and relevant is all about and that is what the Auxiliary did. What follows in the next two articles are also stories the Auxiliary can be proud to tell.

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USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

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Interviews with Active Duty SUBJECT: Lieutenant Junior GRADE ROB MINEO

complex missions that we are going to send our Auxiliary on, the command has no question whether or not they are capable of doing it. It really embodies what we do in unified effort and extends our reach tremendously for the Coast Guard by having the Auxiliary perform those missions. NAVEX: What skills do Auxiliary Aviation supply to augment the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out its mission during times of crisis? USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

NAVEX: What roles does Auxiliary Aviation fill in a response to a hurricane event that provides value to the Coast Guard? During our hurricane response efforts, we normally employ our Auxiliary assets in a logistics fashion. We like to transport personnel, especially when no commercial modes are available. Auxiliary aviators also do post-hurricane damage assessment along the coast to assess infrastructure as well as some of the ports to determine whether or not they can be reopened in a timely manner, that they are safe to navigate, and it’s generally the quickest service we have available to do that, especially when all other assets are being focused elsewhere. NAVEX: How does the relationship between the active duty Coast Guard and the Auxiliary Aviation work to maximize support during a hurricane response? The relationship is very tight knit here at Air Station Savannah. We have a very active Auxiliary group. We have almost sixteen aircraft facilities, along with nearly sixty members. We try to incorporate them into as much of our standardized training when we have safety stand down events, safety standup events, as well as our annual workshop. When we get together we have forward discussions about safety and aviation matters and it gives our command a face to face interaction with the pilots that are going to be performing those missions. That establishes a foundation of trust so that when we have these

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Basically, like I said previously, the dedication and the flexibility. There’s not many services I know that have volunteers that, again, with less than 24 hours notification, get an aircraft to your facility and start unloading parts and people and get them to the most critical site they need to be. That, as well as just the years of experience that they have aviation-wise, is really invaluable to us. Those are the skills that are crucial to what we need. NAVEX: Any anecdotes or memories that stand out on the role of Auxiliary Aviation in the responses to the hurricanes last year? I had a few great experiences with Doug Armstrong and Ken Plesser. It’s one of those cases where Harvey was bearing down on Texas and we were able to contact them. In less than twenty-four hours they had a plane (Editor’s note – A twin jet engine Cessna Citation Mustang with a capacity for four passengers) here in Savannah taking crews to go out to Mobile Aviation Training Center to set them up to replace other personnel and to supplement crews performing aircraft maintenance there. Then, not even a month later, we had to send them both down to respond to hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We gave them a satellite phone and they took their mission orders from the incident commander once they were on site in Puerto Rico. I want to say that that really speaks to the level of mission command that the commanding officer here exercises that he knows that he can trust those people with such a difficult mission and it’s done flawlessly every time. Those are the favorite memories that I have.

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USCG Aux Photo by David Cristol

READY TO TA

For District 7, Readiness was the Be

Story by Rob

THIS PAGE: David Cristol, right, Auxiliary Aircraft Commander, CAPT John Reed, left, commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston and incident commander for Hurricane Florence operations, and Senior Chief Kody Fraughton, rear, snap a selfie photo during a Logistic Transport mission Sept. 23, 2018. Reed and Fraughton received an operational brief at the Incident Command Post at the Forward Operating Base in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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TAKE FLIGHT

est Response for Hurricane Florence

bert A. Fabich

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from page Continued from 9 page 9 TRAGEDY Continued READINESS The Seventh District Auxiliary Aviation (AUXAIR) readiness was revealed as a best practice as its preparedness for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season played a critical role in disaster response for Hurricane Florence.

District 7 established the Area Command Incident Management Team (IMT) in Miami. Ken Plesser, Auxiliary Aviation Coordinator, Air Station Savannah maintained contact with the Auxiliary District Coordinator - ICS (ADC-ICS) Bill Hanlon.

Familiarization Flights conducted by AUXAIR in non-disaster time periods are important missions for readiness. They serve to educate new officers at the Sectors about the capabilities of AUXAIR, and they cover the entire District 7 area of responsibility. Because of this, AUXAIR was placed on contingency response for Florence, ready for deployment with six crews in a B2 status for callout. “AUXAIR response was lessened this year because the Coast Guard had plenty of time to prepare for Florence. With Harvey, there was the unexpected stoppage of forward travel, and continuous rain mandated last minute augmentation by AUXAIR,” stated Ken Plesser, Auxiliary Aviation Coordinator, Air Station

AUXAIR crews assigned to Air Station Savannah conducted a pre-landfall mission for pre-impact photo imagery along the Sector Charleston coastal infrastructure. More than 150 photos were sent to Sector Charleston for before/after comparisons with respect to Florence damages. September 12-15, 2018 Preparation for AUXAIR deployment in support of Hurricane Florence response caused changes in DTrain attendance plans for Auxiliary pilots, Doug Armstrong, Jorge Sanchez, David Cristol, Ralph Tolman, Mark Cannon, Wilson Riggan and their crews when Air Station Savannah placed six Auxiliary aircraft from Asheville, NC, Savannah, GA, DeLand, and Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, FL into B2 standby status. September 16-17, 2018

USCG Aux Photo by Bob Hastie

Doug Armstrong, Auxiliary Aircraft Commander conducted a Logistic Transport mission flying Commander Tim Eason, Executive Officer from Air Station Savannah to LANTAREA (Portsmouth) for temporary duty in response to Hurricane Florence. CDR Eason was effusive in his appreciation. “Thank you for the flight and the flexibility! It was invaluable to get me in theatre quickly and into the “fight” even if my part of the fight was all behind the scenes!”

Savannah. AUXAIR now brings USCG CRM training (Aux-17) to ALL AUXAIR aviators and the vastly improved Spatial Disorientation (Aux-18) program that the FAA administers - and which now includes aircraft egress along with water and land survival leadership. All of this training has raised the level of performance and professionalism of AUXAIR, which is vital preparedness for being successful during a major disaster response.

Time Line September 11, 2018

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USCG Aux Photo by Doug Armstrong

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EDITORIAL STAFF H William Smith Editor Roger Bazeley Assistant Editor Ed Morris Assistant Editor Curtis Pratt Layout Editor

USCG Aux Photo by Ralph Tolman FAR LEFT: Coast Guard CDR Tim Eason, left, Executive Officer from Air Station Savannah, poses for a photo with Ralph Tolman, Auxiliary Aviation Pilot. LEFT: Doug Armstrong, right, Auxiliary Aircraft Commander transports CDR Eason, from Air Station Savannah to LANTAREA . ABOVE: Auxiliary Aviation crews assigned to Air Station Savannah conduct pre-impact photo imagery along Sector Charleston. More than 150 photos were sent to Sector Charleston for before/after comparisons with respect to Florence damages.

September 21, 2018 Auxiliary Aircraft Commanders Bob Hastie and Ralph Tolman conducted Return Logistic Transport mission with CDR Tim Eason Executive Officer, Air Station Savannah, from deployment in Norfolk, VA where he assisted D5 in coordinating hurricane recovery. September 23, 2018 Auxiliary Aircraft Commander David Cristol departed Jacksonville’s Craig Field to Charleston Executive Airport to pick up CAPT John Reed and Senior Chief Kody Fraughton for a Logistic Transport mission to Myrtle Beach. There were areas of low ceiling and visibility as well as isolated rain showers that necessitated maneuvering to maintain suitable flight conditions. AUXAIR is an Auxiliary operational program organized on a district level rather than on a flotilla and division basis as an integral part of the Coast Guard. AUXAIR mission responsibilities are Search and Rescue, Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security, Marine Safety, Pollution Response, Aids to Navigation, Ice Reconnaissance and Logistic Transport. Orders are issued based on schedules created by crew and facility availability and the needs of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard Air Stations are the Order Issuing Authority for AUXAIR. Auxiliarists involved in AUXAIR take Auxiliary aviation training, completing the syllabus for their level of qualification. After having their knowledge and skills approved by an Auxiliary Flight Examiner, they may be certified Pilots, Observers or Air Crew in the AUXAIR Program.

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Review Team Brian Harte Mary Patton

CONTRIBUTORS Doug Armstrong District Seven David Cristol District Seven Robert A. Fabich District Seven Bob Hastie District Seven John Hunt District Seven Ralph Tolman District Seven Scott Spillman District Five Southern Sherry Spillman District Five Southern

NATIONAL STAFF Richard F. Mihalcik Director of Public Affairs Thea Narkiewicz Deputy Director, Publications Thomas Ceniglio Deputy Director, Support Robert Miller, M.D. Division Chief, Publications © Copyright 2018 Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Interviews with Active Duty SUBJECT: Public Affairs Specialist 1st Class Luke Clayton

NAVEX: What roles do the Auxiliary fill in a response to a hurricane event that provides value to the Coast Guard? PA1 Clayton: The Coast Guard’s primary goal before a major incident like a hurricane is to get messaging out, safety messaging. Things like letting people know to secure emergency personal indicating radio beacons, not to use social media as a distress call and to use 911 or maybe VHF radio instead. The Auxiliary is absolutely key in that because they are the people that are integrated into these communities. They know all the people at the marinas. They boat with these people and they have a super strong presence locally. That’s what is very important for the Auxiliary role. They help us get that messaging out. NAVEX: How does the relationship between the active duty Coast Guard and the Auxiliary work to maximize support during a hurricane response? PA1 Clayton: We try to integrate the Auxiliary into the response as much as possible. Their vessels and aircrews are extremely useful. We have aircrews and vessels do port assessments and fly over and give Coast Guard personnel at an incident command post a better operational picture to plan a response. That is a key element in any response. NAVEX: In what ways does the Auxiliary provide value to the Coast Guard during a hurricane response? PA1 Clayton: As an example, I myself participated in the Hurricane Irma and Maria response last year. The Auxiliary had a great community reach for a lot of these little inlets and marinas that may not get the communication from our messaging. Jacksonville, which was affected by Irma, is known as the River City. There are a lot of different people in there that were not getting the message. The Auxiliary were the ones who took their vessels in and spoke person to person on houseboats and things like that, warning them of the hurricane coming in and the surge coming in. There’s some people out there whom we would not have been able to get those safety messages to without the Auxiliary.

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USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

NAVEX: What skills do the Auxiliary supply to augment the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out its mission during times of crisis? PA1 Clayton: I would say one of the key things with the Auxiliary is that local knowledge. We are rotating out every three or four years, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. We do not have the connection with the local community like the Auxiliary does. That is something with the way that the Coast Guard is organized that leaves us unable to facilitate that as often as we like. So the Auxiliary is kind of the rock or backbone with how the Coast Guard integrates with local communities. It is extremely important to have that. NAVEX: What is your overall impression of the Auxiliary’s role? PA1 Clayton: Overall, through my fourteen years in the Coast Guard, the Auxiliary is always there. It is absolutely astonishing that they don’t get paid; they don’t get bonuses or anything like that. This is all free time. This is a volunteer organization. So, having those people involved with the Coast Guard and that much dedication, and you know it is dedication just from the sheer fact that they are not getting anything compensated for it. They want to help. These are folks that really want to participate, really want to help and really want to make a difference. So, just the overall contribution of the Auxiliary is a fantastic thing and we are lucky to have it.

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Sector North Carolina Becomes

Bulls Eye

For Hurricane Florence Story by Sherry Spillman and Scott Spillman

Hurricane Florence hit the eastern part of North Carolina on 14 September 2018. As predicted for two weeks prior to making landfall, Florence hit Wilmington as if aiming straight for a target’s bulls eye. The Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, NC Emergency Management personnel and other first responders watched with anxious anticipation for the devastation this hurricane would bring as it came ashore as a Category One storm.

Photo Courtesy of NOAA

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BULLS EYE

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The Coast Guard Auxiliary was on standby and ready to p Two Auxiliarists, Scott and Sherry Spillman, were sent command post and were able to assist with documenting in photos.

Many parts of eastern North Carolina had not flooded be the Coast Guard Auxiliary were there to help. A lot of res One Hurricane could do to their lives and property. Sin as much more than a thunderstorm, they felt comfortab showed she was not a small storm and proved to be a fo

USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

As the hurricane moved in further to the west and nor left behind and find many folks and animals in need of r personnel from many agencies were activated with assis The Coast Guard began helicopter rescues with resident welcoming dry shelters. And , the Spillmans were there to of all of the rescuers.

Our hope is that more Auxiliarists will be trained, utilized needed in storms like Florence. Through diversity and re always will remain “Semper Paratus.”

COUNTER CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Pilots Ian Sibberson and Chris around Burgaw, NC; CDR Joseph E. Deer of Station Elizabeth City wi Wilmington, NC; Vice Admiral Bushman leaving Station Elizabeth City

USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

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put their training to use wherever they might be needed. to Station Elizabeth City to augment the Public Affairs g the affected areas and capturing rescues on video and

efore they saw Florence’s wrath and the Coast Guard and sidents in these areas were questioning what a Category nce most folks didn’t think of a Category One hurricane ble sheltering in place. Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence orce to be reckoned with.

rth, rescue crews began to see and assess the damage rescue as the water was rising around them. Emergency stance coming from as far away as Florida and California. ts, their pets and belongings being helped and taken to o help document the tireless work and outstanding skills

USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

and called to duty, as there are many areas where help is eadiness, the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary

s Pulliam from Clearwater, Fl; Devastation viewed in the affected area ith Auxiliarist Scott Spillman; Homes in the affected area outside of y aboard C-130; The flooding viewed from a USCG Helicopter.

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USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

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Interviews with Active Duty SUBJECT: Lieutenant Junior Grade Samantha Corcoran

patrols and other things. They definitely are very helpful to us, just being able to get out on the water. NAVEX: In what ways does the Auxiliary provide value to the Coast Guard during a hurricane response?

USCG Aux photo by Robert A. Fabich

NAVEX: What roles do the Auxiliary fill in a response to a hurricane event that provides value to the Coast Guard? LTJG Corcoran: When there’s different emergency operations going on at Sector, it’s really useful for us to be able to utilize the Auxiliary for their small boats and for helping us assess the port and the surrounding area afterwards since we want to assess the damage that was done from the natural disaster. It’s really useful to be able to utilize them in search and rescue missions so that they can augment all the different rescues we need to be doing with active duty and other agencies. We just want to get as many people out on the water as possible and be able to show the community we are out here and ready to help. I have also seen different Auxiliarists being qualified at our active duty Coast Guard stations, too, and that helps with augmenting our schedules so that we can get more active duty out on the water and be able to supplement our watch schedules. NAVEX: How does the relationship between the active duty Coast Guard and the Auxiliary work to maximize support during a hurricane response? LTJG Corcoran: The Auxiliary here is great. There is a huge presence at Sector Charleston. During different response operations they are very involved and very ready to help. They are always out doing different

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LTJG Corcoran: One of the things that I didn’t realize that the Auxiliary could provide is different communications platforms for us. So, when we were talking before the hurricane about, “What if our radio towers go down and we need to be able to still communicate with people who need help out on the water?” we found out that the Auxiliarists could provide different services for us - go setup out by the water somewhere, set up their own little radio antennas, and be able to help augment areas that we can’t hear due to a tower going down. That was really surprising to me. Also, another thing that I really didn’t know was that the Auxiliary has really helped us out with many different missions. When I was on the cutter they came on and helped cook for everyone because we were really low on culinary specialists at the time. They came on board and provided support for receptions and helped give tours and whatnot. We were doing Fleet Week New York at the time. Basically, they are a very versatile group of people who just seem to be helpful with any mission we are doing. NAVEX: What skills do the Auxiliary supply to augment the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out its mission during times of crisis? LTJG Corcoran: I actually find the Auxiliary Public Affairs Specialists to be really valuable to us because there are so few active duty Public Affairs Specialists in the Coast Guard. A lot of the collateral duty Public Affairs people, we have other stuff we have to be doing during an emergency or a crisis. So, to have Auxiliarists who can just come out, deploy, and help take video, pictures, and take interviews, that is really valuable to us so that we can focus on other parts of the mission and know that public affairs and reaching out to the community is still getting done.

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The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs Rapid Response Operations Team The Auxiliary needs to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to news worthy events, especially when it involves major events, such as Hurricane Harvey that struck Texas and New Orleans or Hurricane Irma, which struck Puerto Rico and Florida. The fact that we are in an age of 24/7/365 news cycles, the Coast Guard Auxiliary needs to operate, perform and inform, not only our members, but the public it serves, to any and all life altering events.

have been formed, one located in U.S. Coast Guard District 8, Coastal Region, covering primarily the Texas and Gulf Coast and another one in District 7, covering primarily the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and the Caribbean.

Editor (Team Leader/Point of Contact/Logistical

The minimal training for PARROT team members includes Auxiliary Public Affairs AUX-12 C School, with possession of the Auxiliary Public Affairs Specialist 1 preferred, completion of mandatory and incident command system training, and a minimum of basic qualification II status, with AUXOP status preferred. Team members are also chosen for additional operational qualifications, reflecting the need to report from a position as far forward as possible, such as Boat Crew/Coxswain, Air Crew, Auxiliary Pollution Responder, and Aids to Navigation verifiers. PARROT team members deployed to report on the Auxiliary response to Hurricane Florence also held certification in hazardous materials awareness and operations (HAZWOPER) and team coordination training, as well dual fluency in English and Spanish.

Given the likely pattern of major hurricanes making landfall in the United States, two PARROT teams

PARROT teams are deployable on 24 hours’ notice. During the Hurricane Florence response, PARROT team members were deployed to Sector Charleston and Air Station Elizabeth City.

In order to bring continuity and professionalism to this team(s), the Auxiliary has assembled a pool of senior and well qualified Auxiliary Public Affairs Specialists 1 - volunteers that have the training, equipment, skills, desire, ability, and flexibility to be sent to an area of concern anywhere in the continental US – the Public Affairs Rapid Response Operations Team (PARROT). The teams consist of the following members, with local Auxiliarists assisting on an ad hoc basis: Coordinator that is cross-trained in all other tasks), Videographer, Reporter and Photographer

District 7 Active Duty talk about the role of the Auxiliary during hurricane response

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USCG Aux Photo by Sherry Spillman

Flight Mechanic, Kristopher Foglia and Rescue Swimmer Andrew Ruga pose for a quick photo op, before commencing rescue operations in Hurricane Florence-affected areas of North Carolina.

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