itCG – Innovation Expo, new cutter class, rescue swimmer training facility, inspiring students

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  • Yesterday, the Coast Guard launched the 2009 Innovation Expo in Virginia Beach. The three-day conference is the ninth that the Coast Guard has held and brings together Guardian innovators and private sector representatives interested in helping the Coast Guard improve the way it performs its missions.
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  • On the opening day of the Innvoation Expo, Rear Admiral Ronald Rábago announced that the Coast Guard is ready to move forward with “the largest procurement in Coast Guard history.” Next year, the Acquisition Directorate will submit a Request for Proposals to develop the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). The OPCs will supplement the 270-foot Famous and 210-foot Reliance class medium endurance cutters and will feature increased range and endurance, more powerful weapons and larger flight decks among other improvements.
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  • Rescue swimmers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the Coast Guard and now they will have one of the most sophisticated training facilities in the military. Early next year, construction will begin on the Coast Guard’s Rescue Swimmer Training Facility in Elizabeth City, N.C. The new training facility will simulate real-world rescue conditions including thunder, lightning and large waves.
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  • Students and educators at Portland, Maine’s Deering High School got the thrill of a lifetime yesterday afternoon when one of their alum literally dropped in for a visit. LT Gabe Somma and his rescue helicopter took center stage when he landed on the field where he played high school ball. Students had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit and ask Somma questions about the Coast Guard and its missions.
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