In World War II, the allies fought for freedom on the battlefields of Europe, but also on the seas and islands of the Pacific. For more than seven decades, the Indo-Pacific region has shown us its critical strategic importance.
The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year award recognizes a unit ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest commitment serving as a Coast Guard ombudsman. This year, that award went to Mrs. Becky Lawrence, ombudsman for Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia (WPB 215). Lawrence dove in to help her community in Guam as a volunteer while also dedicating her time to support Sequoia’s members and dependents. She is an outstanding role model for all Coast Guard ombudsmen, and her selection highlights the accomplishments of an invaluable command representative.
Category 5 Typhoon Mangkhut recently impacted the islands of Guam and Rota, a commonwealth of the U.S. It plunged 80 percent of Guam into darkness and all of Rota, flooded areas and destroyed aids to navigation and damaged the Rescue 21 VHF and microwave radio sites in Guam and Rota. The U.S. Coast Guard sent supplies and crews to Rota to provide aid to the community and repair and restore power to the radio sites that are used to listen for distress calls throughout the Mariana Islands. Read here to learn more about the Rescue 21 system and how this 21st century technology assists these small Pacific islands.
Guam may be where America’s day begins, but at Station Apra Harbor in Santa Rita, Guam, reservists are known to be busy day and night. The Coast Guard Reserve has a long history of serving the people of the Pacific and continues to play a critical role in the local community.
We know more about the surface of the Moon and Mars than we do about the ocean’s seafloor. With water encompassing 63.78 million square miles, the oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, with the world’s largest body of water, the Pacific Ocean, covering roughly one third. The Pacific also boasts the deepest trenches, specifically Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench near the Federated States of Micronesia. Given Challenger Deep’s inhospitable environment, no one has attempted to extensively record ambient sound at its full depth. That is, until now.
When I hear about far-flung Coast Guard duty stations, I can’t help but think about what they are like and whether I would like to live there. Guam is one of those places. I know it can’t be easy to live there, but the pictures of beaches and palm trees, and the proximity to exotic travel destinations sound appealing. Every duty station carries with it frustrations and benefits, and everyone has some sort of advice for those who come after them.
Coast Guard cutters Assateague and Sequoia recently returned to Apra Harbor, Guam, after each cutter completed patrols as part of Operation Rai Balang, a regional fisheries operation between the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau and Republic of Marshall Islands. The cutters combined transited more than 7,500 nautical miles over 40 days at sea through the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Island’s exclusive economic zone and surrounding high seas.
The Coast Guard proudly recognizes the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This designation honors both Asian and Pacific Islander Americans for their contributions and sacrifices in advancing our great nation. This year’s theme is, “I Am Beyond.” The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit, how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America.
The 14th Coast Guard District is charged with protecting and patrolling more than 90,000 miles of coastline. In fact, of the total 3.4 million square nautical miles of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, 43 percent resides within this region. With such a large expanse of ocean to operate in, teamwork is critical in performing the many missions of the U.S. Coast Guard. It was this sense of teamwork and partnership that the two units – cutter and station – joined together.
Standing the Hawaiian Islands watch requires a force of on call specialists, always ready for the surge capacity nature of the job. Modern search and rescue methodology has sprinted forward in recent decades, keeping pace with evolving technology. Sometimes a Coast Guardsmen’s best lifesaving tool is not only more than two hundred year of lifesaving tradition, but also products of the digital era.