Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp expressed his deep appreciation to the members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary for their selfless service during the Commodore’s Banquet at the Auxiliary’s National Conference in Scottsdale, AZ, Saturday. Adm. Papp noted that Auxiliarists time and again unfailingly and unhesitatingly answered the call to duty in major operations like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response and routine activities like boating safety education.
“From the top of the world in the Arctic, to the Deepwater Horizon command posts along the Gulf Coast, and reaching down through the Caribbean to the island of Hispaniola; indeed, everywhere I have travelled in my first 100-days as Commandant, and throughout my 35-years of service, I have found the dedicated men and women of the Auxiliary assisting and supporting Coast Guard active duty and reservists,” said Papp.
Some examples that were cited include:
* Providing security at the Canadian Winter Olympic Games.
* Providing communication, public affairs and logistical support for the devastating Haitian earthquake.
* Providing education on boating safety along 860 miles of the Yukon River to remote Alaskan villages.
* Providing assistance with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response by filling every position from vessel operator to air observer and supporting each of the incident command organizations, as well as backfilling many other positions in local commands whose staff were deployed to the response.
“The Auxiliary continues to perform a broad range of services that provide for the safety and security of the American people,” Papp said.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary’s commitment to boating safety and saving lives through education and patrols of America’s waterways in particular were highlighted by Adm. Papp in his remarks.
“This year alone, the Auxiliary’s 31,000 members collectively assisted in saving 250 lives, assisted almost 1400 others in distress, and saved more than $9 million in property,” said Papp.
Adm. Papp also recalled the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s beginnings, in World War II, when volunteer Auxiliarists guarded our ports from sabotage, patrolled America’s coasts and performed other domestic responsibilities to allow Coast Guardsmen to serve overseas. Then as now, the Auxiliary stepped in to assume responsibilities that ensured our success.
“The continued strength of the Coast Guard Auxiliary remains as important today as it was when the Auxiliary was formed,” Papp said.
After thanking National Commodore Nick Kerrigan for his exceptional service and welcoming prospective National Commodore Jim Vass, Papp said to all Auxiliarists, “Thank you for your service, your patriotism and your volunteer efforts; you are greatly appreciated and much needed.”