Fw: Message from the Commandant
- ----- Original Message -----From: Don HaleSent: Friday, January 22, 2010 8:41 PMSubject: Fwd: Message from the Commandant
Just for info....all.....
From: Pamela K. Ammerman
Subject: Fwd: Message from the Commandant
Date: Friday, January 22, 2010, 6:57 PMReceived this and was asked to pass it along...please do so, especially to the Council Presidents in your Regions and Areas.Thanks,Pam...Pamela K. Ammerman
Navy League of the United States
National Vice President
Region, Area, and Council Presidents' Liaison----- Original Message -----From: Daniel B. Branch, Jr.Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 6:51 PMSubject: Fwd: Message from the CommandantPlease pass along. DanDaniel B. Branch, Jr.
Navy League of the United States303-499-0337-----Original Message-----
From: Carol A MeteneyTo: Dan BranchSent: Thu, Jan 21, 2010 3:15 pm
Subject: FW: Message from the CommandantBegin forwarded message:Subject: FW: Message from the CommandantTo the Men and Women of the United States Coast Guard:
Exactly one week ago today, a little before 1700 EST, a violent
earthquake devastated Port Au Prince, Haiti. Without waiting for
tasking, Coast Guard men and women from all over the country made
immediate preparations to assist the beleaguered Haitian people. The
next morning, Haitians witnessed President Obama's pledge - "You will not
be forsaken and you will not be forgotten" - become reality when the
cutter FORWARD arrived with the rising sun as the first American asset
on-scene. Amidst the devastation, FORWARD delivered damage assessments,
critical command and control capabilities, and most importantly - hope.
I am incredibly proud of the performance of all our personnel during this
challenging period and like you, my heart goes out to the Haitian people
who have suffered so greatly. Coast Guard units were the first on-scene
in Port Au Prince and have been working around the clock with our
interagency partners to provide humanitarian assistance, evacuate U.S.
citizens, and help the most seriously wounded.
On-scene, the cutters TAHOMA and MOHAWK quickly established a makeshift
trauma unit with the Haitian Coast Guard and triaged hundreds of injured
people (read the story here:
arry-berman/). TAHOMA's crew even delivered a baby boy from an injured
Haitian woman on their flight deck and a second baby at their shoreside
clinic. C-130 aircraft performed damage assessment flights and the
cutter VALIANT conducted a port assessment of Cap Haitian to create
another entryway for supplies that were backing up at the airport. The
cutter OAK continues to survey Port Au Prince harbor and repair the
primary pier to allow much needed supplies to flow directly into the
city. Aircrews from Mobile, AL; Elizabeth City, NC; Sacramento, CA;
Barbers Point, HI; Detroit, MI; and Jacksonville and Miami, FL are also
assisting with overflights and evacuations. Follow these links to view
our Guardians in action (http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/ and
Supporting our forward operations have been thousands of Guardians
working inside and outside of the Coast Guard. The Seventh District
Commander has been leading the Homeland Security Task Force South East
which is a key coordination point for the federal government's collective
response and evacuation efforts. A joint FEMA-Coast Guard team has been
deployed to Port Au Prince to support United States response operations
being directed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
We are also supporting U.S. Southern Command Joint Task Force Haiti with
individual augmentees. Our Area Commanders have worked seamlessly to flow
forces rapidly including moving the cutter HAMILTON through the Panama
Canal from the West Coast. The Chief of Staff, exercising his mission
support responsibilities, has skillfully integrated and deployed
logistics elements demonstrating the maturation of our new support model.
Here in Washington, our staffs have integrated with key partners
including DOD, FEMA and USAID. I have worked with FEMA Director, Craig
Fugate, in support of Secretary Napolitano and Deputy Secretary Lute at a
number of White House meetings.
We continue to surge people and assets because we will have to sustain
our response efforts in Haiti. HAMILTON and LEGARE will soon be on-scene
pushing our total number of Guardians in theater to over 700. We are
also recalling Coast Guard reservists to augment our humanitarian efforts
and ensure maritime safety and security for relief supplies arriving in
theater. Our immediate and sustained response illustrates the value of
the Coast Guard's flexible command structure, ability to operate across
the interagency and international spectrums, and the initiative of our
people to take action. This is why the Coast Guard is so valuable to the
American public and the global maritime community.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. Secretary of State Clinton
commented "our Coast Guard has been unbelievable." At a press conference
last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM Mike Mullen stated
"the Coast Guard was magnificent from day one. First, they were
medevacing people literally within the first 24 hours. And I want to give
them a great deal of credit for their response capability as well."
Those comments are directed at all of you who executing or supporting our
Many have questioned how the Coast Guard can do so much so quickly, and I
simply reply: "This is what we do". Our Guardians are committed to
protecting, defending, and saving without having to be told to do so.
Along with all Americans, I am truly inspired by the Coast Guard men and
women operating in theater, backfilling for deployed units, or providing
the necessary support to make it all possible. As always, our Guardians
are here to protect and ready to rescue at a moment's notice. That is
who we are and why we serve.
I cannot describe it any better than a young petty officer assigned to
TAHOMA in this email to his family:
"There is an eerie feeling in the air amongst our crew tonight. Those who
remained shielded on the cutter today see in the eyes of those who went
ashore what a major disaster can do to a nation. I have never seen so
many grown men and women with tears in their eyes. Those who did go
ashore experienced first-hand the severity of the situation.
I've been shielded today only talking over the radio to those who have
seen it. Never once was there a question of professionalism in their
voice. I remember in boot camp being told that the U.S. Coast Guard on
the right side of our chest takes priority over our name. Today the men
and women who went ashore wore coveralls without their names on them. All
that was visible were the letters USCG.
Today was the first day I think I've truly been more thankful to be an
American. Not because of our infrastructure or the freedoms given to us,
but because as a country we will be there when a country of less fortune
is in need. Haiti rarely exports anything to our country. They have no
oil or major cash crop we use. But as a county we will stand together and
put aside our different opinions of healthcare, war, or economy and help
out those in need.
Right now we are taking it hour by hour, aftershock by aftershock, every
little bit helps. I'm going to try and get some sleep, as I've already
put in a solid 16 hours. Tomorrow will be longer."
Thank you and Semper Paratus!
Admiral Thad Allen
Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard