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Fw: Message from the Commandant

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  • Phelps Hobart
    ... From: Don Hale Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 8:41 PM Subject: Fwd: Message from the Commandant Just for info....all..... From: Pamela K. Ammerman Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2010
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Don Hale
      Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 8:41 PM
      Subject: 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 PM

      Received this and was asked to pass it along...please do so, especially to the Council Presidents in your Regions and Areas. 
      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 PM
      Subject: Fwd: Message from the Commandant

      Please pass along.  Dan

      Daniel B. Branch, Jr.
      National President 
      Navy League of the United States

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Carol A Meteney
      To: Dan Branch
      Sent: Thu, Jan 21, 2010 3:15 pm
      Subject: FW: Message from the Commandant
      Begin forwarded message:
      Subject: FW: Message from the Commandant
      To 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."

      Well said.

      Thank you and Semper Paratus!

      Admiral Thad Allen
      Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard
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