Yesterday, Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard, spent the first of what will be three days touring Coast Guard operations in support of the Deepwater Horizon Response. It was a busy day of fly-overs, meeting with Coasties and talking to the media. The task before us is immense but the dedication of our Coast Guardsmen to completing the mission is inspiring. We’ll keep you all updated as the trip progresses. In the meantime, I’m pleased to bring you the following update from Admiral Papp.
I write to you on my way to Louisiana after spending yesterday in Mobile, Alabama with some of our many hard working Coast Guard men and women involved in the Deepwater Horizon response. I started the day at the Mobile Incident Command Post (ICP) where approximately twelve-hundred personnel – including many Coast Guard active duty, reserve and auxiliary members are engaged in an all-hands-on-deck effort to meet the many challenges posed by this response. I was thoroughly impressed with their hard work and dedication, and in particular, with our many reserve shipmates who readily answered the call to duty.
I also had the opportunity to over-fly areas of the Gulf of Mexico within the ICP Mobile area of responsibility, courtesy of our shipmates at Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama. I observed the extensive booming operations along the Alabama coast and its barrier islands, and the hard work of our shipmates aboard the CGC ELM, OAK, CYPRESS, and JOSHUA APPLEBEE as they conducted offshore oil skimming operations. I also had the privilege to experience the capabilities of our new HC-144 CASA in action, as it lowered its back ramp in-flight, to provide a birds-eye view of the response operations.
In the days ahead, we must continue to lean hard into this unprecedented response. Every Coast Guardsmen must exert their utmost to combat this spill at the source, on the sea and, as a last resort, when it impacts the coastline. I’m also counting on all our Areas, Districts and Sectors to maintain a taut watch for activities in all our mission areas. Our citizens – especially those who reside along the Gulf coast are counting on us. We will not let them down.
Admiral Bob Papp