What happens when the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Royal Netherlands Navy work together? A $24 million drug bust. The multi-agency seizure of 1,517 pounds of cocaine – estimated to have a wholesale value of more than $24 million – all began with a suspicious go-fast vessel.
It was another early Friday morning for the crew of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules based out of Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. Fifty-knot winds roared around the airframe while the crew scoured the dark cauldron of 20-foot seas below for a boat. Rain lashed the plane, reducing visibility to less than a mile. Radar was next to useless and no one had been able to contact the distressed vessel. The only thing guiding the crew was an unregistered, but active, emergency position-indicating radio beacon, broadcasting a signal approximately 680 miles east from the U.S. and 75 miles north of Bermuda.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Pearson is a machinery technician, one of the Coast Guard’s largest enlisted ratings. As a machinery technician, Pearson is a leader and manager, with a breadth of knowledge in all areas of machinery operation and maintenance. Pearson, alongside his engineering team, discovered the seas were so large, the bottom of the cutter was being exposed to air – either from excessive side-to-side rocking or when becoming airborne over the crest of a wave.
Weather conditions, crew responsiveness, incoming hazards and myriad meters, gauges and measurements. These are just a few of the things a pilot has to be wary of when flying an aircraft. A new concern is affecting Coast Guard pilots from Cape Cod, to Hawaii, from Puerto Rico to Seattle. Every air station in the Coast Guard is on the lookout for a simple beam of light.
As I grow up I am beginning to learn more about what it takes to be a service dog. A good service dog has to be healthy, happy, confident and steady. Oh, and did I say smart? All of these traits are also traits many Coast Guardsmen have. Just as in their training, I am provided all sorts of experiences so I can be prepared. I’d like to think I am “always ready” just like they are!
Chief Petty Officer Robert Fielder, an aviation maintenance technician with Air Station Kodiak, uses a dremel tool to cut the skin of an HC-130 Hercules airplane. Fielder and members of the air station’s C-130 metal shop conducted a repair to the skin of a C-130 that had damage in a pressurized area of the plane.
(File Photo) A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, similar to the one involved in a collision with a Marine AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, Oct. 30, 2009, is pictured in this Coast Guard file photo. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cindy Beckert. Click on the image to read more about this incident. Tragedy