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U.S. COAST GUARD 2019 EDITION

A PUBLICATION OF THE DAILY ADVANCE, CHOWAN HERALD & THE PERQUIMANS WEEKLY


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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019


U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

CONTENTS

ON THE COVER Pictured (top and clockwise) are U.S. Coast Guard MH65E helicopter tail number 6594 in the hangar at the Aviation Logistics Center in June; the fuselage of an MH65 helicopter used for training purposes in the MH65 hangar at ALC and the new digital avionics package aboard the 6594.

WHAT’S INSIDE? 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 12 13

Local Coast Guard crew joins Normandy 75th Flyover New Fixed Wing Training Facility to open Brown: Coast Guard gave his life direction Coast Guard Commands at a Glance Cooley accepted to highly sought physician assistance program MH65E conversions to start full swing in fall 3 civilian deputies put their passions to work at ALC Plymel is ALC’s GS Employee of the Year CRUZ named 2018 top employee of ALC division

to help Coasties 14 Coalition staying active 15 Pharr honored for volunteer service 16 ALC rolls out aircraft upgrades Strike Force has world22 National wide reach excels in fast-paced 23 Erwin Strike Force environment team presented 24 ALC award for excellence wins Munro Award for 26 Forsblom excellence, leadership trains workers for skilled jobs 28 COA at base Security degree good fit for 32 Homeland ECSU, Coast Guard Guard Day honors 229 years 34 Coast of service

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

Local Coast Guard crew joins

Normandy 75 Flyover th

BY JON HAWLEY Staff Writer

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HC-130J crew members from Air Station Elizabeth City participated in the military flyover on June 6 in Normandy, France. Submitted Photo

n June, the world commemorated the 75th anniversary of the of Normandy invasion that changed the course of World War II, and a crew from Air Station Elizabeth City got the “once in a lifetime� honor to mark the event from the skies. An HC-130J crew from Elizabeth City participated in the military flyover on June 6 in Normandy, France, that accompanied a remembrance ceremony attended by President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, and other world leaders. Lt. Gary Kuehn, who co-piloted the plane alongside Lt. Cmdr. Michael Deal, shared thoughts and photos about the occasion with The Daily Advance. “We were one of nearly 40 aircraft from various services ... participating in the ceremony,� Kuehn wrote in an email. “The opportunity to fly formation with 13 C-47s (also known as Dakotas) used to support paratroopers during the Normandy invasion will forever be a highlight in our Coast Guard careers.� The Normandy invasion was the largest invasion by sea in world history, and involved more than 150,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops. Though thousands of Allied troops died, the invasion was a success and marked a turning point in the war against Nazi Germany. A U.S. Coast Guard website explains Coast Guard vessels and service members were an “integral part of Operation Neptune,� which referred to the invasion’s amphibious assault and gunfire support.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

The front entrance to the new Fixed Wing Training Facility on the campus of the Aviation Technical Training Center at U.S. Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City is seen, Friday, June 28. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

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tarting in August, U.S. Coast Guard enlisted aircraft technicians will have a new facility where they can receive specialized hands-on training. The first classes at the Aviation Technical Training Center’s new Fixed Wing Training Facility will begin in August, said Chief Warrant Officer Will Williams. The new $16 million facility will provide specialized hands-on training for Coast Guard technicians. The ATTC is home to the Coast Guard’s enlisted aviation rate training schools, or ‘A’ schools. All enlisted aviators undergo their first course of training by completing one of the Coast Guard’s aviation A schools. The ATTC also hosts ‘C’ schools, which are basically professional development courses that focus on

a specialized area of training. The new fixed wing facility will host ‘C’ school training for aviation electronic technicians and aviation maintenance technicians, said Williams, who is the AET/AMT branch officer at ATTC. Discussing the new facility in June, Williams said that in 2014 he identified what he perceived was a deficiency in fixed wing training for enlisted crews already serving in the fleet. Much of the training at the time was conducted in classrooms, with little to no hands-on instruction. Williams requested and received some old fixed wing aircraft for crews to train on. That fulfilled just half of Williams’ goal, because the training center would also need a hangar to house the aircraft. Williams spent about another two years working

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New Fixed Wing Training Facility to

OPEN BY CHRIS DAY Multimedia Editor

with a Coast Guard team to draft plans and to design the hangar. The project finally received funding and the Coast Guard broke ground on the new facility nearly 30 months ago, he said. It took roughly 20 months to build the hangar, which is located on the ATTC campus about 200 yards from the main building. The training facility occupies about 26,000 square feet, which includes space for four classrooms, instructor offices and a hangar large enough to house two training aircraft: an HC-27J and an HC-144A “Ocean Sentry.” In June, the ATTC held its change of command ceremony inside the hangar, giving guests an insidelook of the facility. At the ceremony, Capt. Brian Hopkins assumed command of the ATTC from Capt. Lance Belben, who retired after 25 years of service.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

Brown: COAST GUARD GAVE

Chief Storekeeper Joshua Brown has been named Enlisted Person of the Year for Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City. Kesha D. Williams

HIS LIFE DIRECTION BY KESHA WILLIAMS Correspondent

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fter Joshua Brown graduated from high school in Marietta, Georgia, in the early 2000s, he didn’t immediately know what he wanted to do with his life. Like a lot of other young people his age, he thought the future was far removed from the current moment. He credits a frank conversation he had with his sister in 2004 for convincing him that life’s clock is ticking every day, and that he needed to start thinking about the future. His sister also told him he didn’t need to settle for a job in Marietta, that he could look beyond what was right in front of him for career opportunities. Brown said he took her advice and he and a friend gathered up their courage and met with a Coast Guard recruitment officer. He says the recruiter gave him a glimpse of what to expect from a Coast Guard career. “I learned that after boot camp you can request the kind of work you’d like to do,” Brown said. Brown said he wasn’t interested in serving aboard a boat during his first year. He was able to find work in the Coast Guard, however, that he says “interested me and preserved my career.” “Choosing to be a storekeeper was the path I chose,” he said. “It was a career path that would transition well outside of the Coast Guard, I thought, when that day comes.” As a chief storekeeper in budget management, Brown helps provide support for Coast Guard personnel who serve aboard the agency’s aircraft and vessels. The job involves a myriad of tasks: everything from purchasing supplies and tracking the movement of parts and equipment to reconciling bank statements, managing property and overseeing travel planning for Coast Guard personnel who must attend training programs away from their duty station. Brown is so proficient at his job, he was named Base

Elizabeth City’s Enlisted Person of the Year for 2019. Before working at Base Elizabeth City, Brown worked at Coast Guard installations in North Bend, Oregon; Newport, Rhode Island; and Corpus Christi, Texas. Though he’s the logistics whiz of the family, Brown said his wife plays a central role in their research of the communities where he’s assigned. He said the Welcome Aboard Expo put on at Base Elizabeth City provided a lot of good information for his family when they were relocating here. Brown and his wife have three sons, each of whom will be encouraged, he said, to begin their career planning before they even step inside a high school. Brown says when current high school students ask him what qualities are important for a career in the Coast Guard, he tells them good concentration and an enjoyment of learning. They should also enjoy working as a member of a team and remain flexible about duty stations, he said. “Listen to the people around you,” he said he also advises them. “You must also be able to problemsolve because we work sometimes by trial and error. You may work with equipment that needs to be tested to determine which piece is reliable or not reliable for the work we do.” Having a good memory of timelines, an aptitude for learning procedures and an ability to keep track of dates and deadlines, are also important, he said. Brown says he also tells potential recruits that the Coast Guard, and the military in general, does a good job of rewarding its personnel for excellent performance. “I am glad I joined the Coast Guard,” he said. “I’ve grown and seen more than I could have imagined when I first visited that Coast Guard recruitment office. In the Coast Guard, your job may require you to wear many hats but I’ve accomplished more than I imagined as a high school senior.”

...we work sometimes by trial and error. You may work with equipment that needs to be tested to determine which piece is reliable or not reliable for the work we do...”


U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

Small Boat Station Mission Statement: To be ready to respond in a safe and professional manner to the mariners of the Albemarle Sound and her tributaries. Primary Operations and Activities: Search and rescue, security and law enforcement patrols Senior Commanders: Boatswain’s Mate Senior Chief Jimmy Allen, officer-in-charge; Boatswain’s Mate Petty Office 1st Class Joshua Talys, executive petty officer; Machinery Technician Petty Officer 1st Class Kendall Story, engineering petty officer Service Members and Employees: 25 active-duty, six reservists Major Assets: Two 29-foot small response boats, one 24-foot special purpose craft (shallow water)

Coast Guard Commands at a Glance BY JON HAWLEY Staff Writer

Chief Jimmy Allen

Air Station, founded 1940

Base Elizabeth City, established 1936

Mission Statement: Air Station Elizabeth City is Semper Paratus! We expeditiously deliver a multitude of Coast Guard aviation resources and professional mastery of our craft; to protect and serve our nation and its people, to protect and preserve the sea and her natural resources, and to protect and save all those who operate or recreate on the sea.

Mission Statement: Provide World-Class Mission Support to our customers, including Aviation Logistics Center, Aviation Technical Training Center, Air Station Elizabeth City, Sector North Carolina, C-27J “Spartan” Asset Project Office, National Strike Force Coordination Center, military retirees and dependents; through Teamwork, Communication, Collaboration, Proficiency and Professionalism.

Primary Operations and Activities: Search and rescue, law enforcement, living marine resources, commercial vessel safety, counter-narcotics, federal agency support

Primary Operations and Activities: Mission support services, including: general administration and personnel management; supply, procurement and warehousing; industrial services; facilities maintenance; information technology support; morale and recreational services

Senior Commanders: Capt. Joseph Deer, commanding officer; Cmdr. Matthew Furlong, executive officer; Aviation Maintenance Technician Master Chief Petty Officer Steven Rudey, command master chief Captain Joseph Deer

Service Members and Employees: 330 active-duty and 55 auxiliary Major Assets: Five HC130J airplanes, three H60 aircraft, 12 auxiliary aircraft

Senior Commanders: Cmdr. Randy Meador, commanding officer; Cmdr. Melissa Arles, executive officer (starts late July), Machinery Technician Master Chief Petty Officer Delbert Lofing, command master chief Commander Randy Meador

Service Members and Employees: 76 active-duty, 80 civilians Major Assets: 800 acres of real estate, including buildings, runways, taxiways and roads, 1.5 miles of shoreline, 71 miles of underground utilities

Aviation Technical Training Center, established on current site 1978

Aviation Logistics Center, commissioned as the “Aircraft Repair and Supply Base” in 1947

Mission Statement: Providing leadership and enhanced training to develop Coast Guard life savers Primary Operations and Activities: Trains in aircraft systems and maintenance, rescue swimming

Mission Statement: We provide Aviation Logistics that enable Coast Guard mission execution, including: Depot Level Maintenance, Engineering, Supply, Procurement, and Information Services.

Senior Commanders: Capt. Brian Hopkins, commanding officer; Lt. Cmdr. Caroline Kearney, executive officer; Command Master Chief Garry Perriman

Primary Operations and Activities: Maintaining and upgrading all 204 Coast Guard aircraft on a four-year cycle Senior Commander: Capt. Randy Hartnett, commanding officer

Service Members and Employees: 112 total, including activeduty, civilian and contract

Service Members and Employees: 192 active-duty, more than 559 civilians

Major Assets: Five-building training campus, full-size MH-60 and MH-65 helicopters as training aids, HC-144 airplane as training aid Captain Brian Hopkins

Major Assets: Manages 2,000 contracts worth $750 million, handles requisitions for parts worth more than $1.1 billion Captain Randy Hartnett

C27-J Asset Project Office, established June 25, 2014

National Strike Force Coordination Center, founded early 1990s

Mission Statement: Always mindful of the inherent risk of our profession and the added danger associated with being first to fly, we will remain hyper vigilant and leverage all tools within our safety management system toolbox. In so doing we will protect our greatest of assets, our people.

Mission Statement: Any place, any time, any hazard Primary Operations and Activities: Inspects oil spill response equipment, responds to oil spills and other disasters, manages and mitigates hazardous waste, assists Coast Guard and other agencies with disaster response and disaster communications

Primary Operations and Activities: Led regeneration (restore for operations) 14 C-27J Spartan aircraft used by the Air Force, all now operational

Senior Commander: Capt. Mark Shepard, commander of National Strike Force and NSF Coordination Center

Senior Commanders: Capt. Eric Storch, commanding officer; Cmdr. Eric Drey, executive officer; Senior Chief Avionics Electrical Technician Jeff Jones, command senior chief

Service Members and Employees: 22 personnel, Coast Guard and civilian

Service Members and Employees: 52 active-duty, 26 civilians and contractors Captain Eric Storch

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Major Assets: Four C-27J Spartan airplanes, two to four HC-130J airplanes

Major Assets: Specialized communications equipment Captain Mark Shepard


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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

Petty Officer 1st Class Katrina Cooley poses in front of an HC-144A “Ocean Sentry”aircraft. Submitted photo

COOLEY

ACCEPTED TO HIGHLY SOUGHT PHYSICIAN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BY CORINNE SAUNDERS Correspondent

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etty Officer 1st Class Katrina Cooley knows the medical program will be challenging, because the application process alone was intense. Regardless, she brims with excitement discussing it. Of the 33 people who applied to the highly selective Interservice Physician Assistant Program last year, only six, including Cooley, were accepted. “The competition is brutal,” said Cooley, who is 40 and a single mother of two children. “I haven’t even gotten to the school yet, but even the application process was hard work. It really, really demanded dedication and so many sacrifices. So many nights my daughter wanted me to play with her, but my

head was in a book (because) I had to study for a test.” Cooley, who is an aviation maintenance technician, has been in the Coast Guard for 18 years. She is soon moving to Texas, where in August she will begin training in the PA program at the U.S. Army’s Fort Sam Houston. Located in San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston is home to the U.S. Army Medical Command, which includes medical training subordinate commands. She admits that starting this new chapter is intimidating. While many of Cooley’s peers are retiring, “here I am starting this new craziness,” she said. “I am excited about it. It’s a huge opportunity.” Upon completing the 29-month school, Cooley will receive a master’s degree in medicine and be commissioned to the rank of lieutenant junior grade. The most exciting part for her is the ability to transition from fixing aircraft to fixing people. “I love being in the Coast Guard, but I also get to take care of my shipmates and practice medicine in a place I love already; that’s what drew me to the program,” Cooley said. It took about two years to complete all the classes required for admittance and then another three years of applications to the program. She had sometimes considered not applying again. “I am very appreciative of my chief and warrant officers yelling at me to not give up — to stick with it,” Cooley said. “You need a strong support system and (to) understand the sacrifice is worth it. It’s hard to think about when you’re in it.”

“No matter where you’re from or what your situation is, your dreams are never too big to become reality,” she said. Cooley has been in Elizabeth City for four years and works in quality assurance for the HC-144A fixed wing aircraft. “I’m actually the first female African-American MH65 (helicopter) mechanic in the Coast Guard,” she said. “Just by chance, just because the 144 is new to the Coast Guard in general, I also became the first African-American female drop master on the HC144,” she said. The drop master is “the person who throws stuff out the back of the aircraft” during search-and-rescue missions, making it possible to pull people out of the water. The Atlantic City, New Jersey, native has had a lengthy career in aviation maintenance but got her first taste of medicine while stationed in Mobile, Alabama. There, she worked a second job as a hospital admitting agent. “When it was slow, I would end up in the back with the nurses and the doctors, seeing what they do,” she said. She established a “give-and-take” with the nurses, where she would help in the back and learn skills from them, such as how to do an IV on patients. In 2008, after transferring to Corpus Christi, Texas, she became an emergency medical technician. “I loved it. I worked as an EMT and a dispatcher when I moved back to Mobile as a second job just to keep up on my skills,” Cooley said. “Once I found out about the PA program, it was a no-brainer.”

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

MH65E CONVERSIONS TO START FULL SWING IN FALL BY CHRIS DAY Multimedia Editor

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$390 million project to convert the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of 98 MH-65 helicopters to its latest variant will begin full swing this fall. Three of those helicopters have already undergone the conversion from ‘D’ model aircraft to the more sophisticated ‘E’ model. The E model, or Echo, includes a new digital avionics suite, structural modifications and an all-new electrical wiring throughout the aircraft. The upgrade also will significantly extend the life of the helicopter from its current rating of 20,000 flight hours to 30,000, said Lt. Cmdr. Christian Polyak, who is the MH65 projects branch chief at the Aviation Logistics Center at Base Elizabeth City. Helicopter tail number 6594 was the first 65 helicopter to undergo the full conversion to the Echo model. It made its first flight as an E variant in 2016. Since then the 6594 has served as a developmental and operational test aircraft for the conversion project. The 6594 was outfitted with cameras and hard drives that record the pilots’ actions, plus all avionics communications during flight. This information is analyzed and used to understand what happened and to make necessary corrections, said Polyak, who has about 3,500 flight hours on the MH65. Two other 65s have completed the conversion, which is a project that has been in the works for nearly a decade. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has approved the full-scale conversion of the remaining 95 aircraft, Polyak said. The current start date is Nov. 21. It will take approximately 180 days to complete the conversion of one helicopter. Once the project is in full cycle the ALC anticipates being able to send a fully converted MH65 back to the fleet every 17 days. The overall project will take approximately four years, Polyak said. Of the more significant changes from the D model is the new digital avionics package the E model is receiving. The new suite will bring the MH65 more in line with that of the MH60, the Coast Guard’s other helicopter, Polyak explained. Also significant to the conversion is the installation of all new wiring. This project alone will result in the addition of about 60 new jobs at ALC, Polyak said. Pilots will receive three weeks of training on the E models at the Coast Guard’s flight training facility in Mobile, Alabama. Enlisted crews will train at their assigned air stations, Polyak said.

Pictured is the new digital avionics package being installed as part of a expansive project to upgrade the US Coast Guard’s fleet of MH65 helicopters from the older ‘D’ models to the ‘E’ variant. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

Pictured is US Coast Guard MH65 helicopter tail number 6594, the first to complete the conversion from the older ‘D’ model MH65 aircraft to the more advanced ‘E’ model. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

Pictured is the avionics in the cockpit of the MH65D model aircraft. The ‘E’ model upgrade will include an all new digital avionics suite. Submitted Photo

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

3 CIVILIAN DEPUTIES put their passions to work at ALC BY CORINNE SAUNDERS Correspondent

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hree civilian division chiefs at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center have diverse jobs but share a passion for their field. Angela Mizelle-Griffin, the deputy chief for the Information Systems Division, has been in her post since October 2018. Steve Chesson, the Medium Range Surveillance Product Line deputy, has worked in that capacity for about nine months, and Crissy Taber, the Aviation Logistics Division deputy has held her post for about a year and a half. The ALC is under Coast Guard command and each division is overseen by a Coast Guard officer, Chesson explained. Each of those division commanders has a civilian deputy, who also is each division’s senior civilian employee. Chesson is from Elizabeth City and earned a two-year electronics degree from College of The Albemarle. Prior to joining the staff at ALC, Chesson worked as an apprentice at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. In his 28 years of service at ALC he has held eight different job positions, including his first as an electrician mechanic. “It was a wonderful feeling to get to this point,� he said of becoming MRS deputy. “I’ve always set my goals to get as high in an organization as I could.� The MRS division overhauls two types of fixed-wing aircraft, the HC-144A “Ocean Sentry� and the HC-27J. It also “supports five (USCG) air stations with parts, engineering support and field repairs,� Chesson said.

As MRS deputy, he’s in charge of approximately 170 people, which include about 65 civilians, 60 contractors and the remainder Coast Guard personnel. The numbers fluctuate. “The military transfers out every two three years,� he said. “The civilian side of the house kind of holds the continuity.� Crissy Taber is Alabama native who served in the U.S. Navy for six years in Norfolk, Virginia. “Our military do transfer in and out, and that’s good,� Taber said. “We (as civilians) remember all of the reasons why things happened 5 to 10 years ago; we’re able to carry that knowledge base through.� As ALD deputy, Taber oversees about 130 people in risk management, accounting, logistics compliance, warehousing, property and procurement and cost accounting. She enjoys overseeing the budget formulation and execution. “It’s a job that is very challenging,� said Taber, who has been at ALC for 10 years. “I love the budget aspect.� Taber was inspired to pursue an accounting degree after leaving the Navy and selling cars for six years. “I was finance manager at a dealership,� she said. “Working really closely with the accounting department there really got me into it.�

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

Angela Mizelle-Griffin has worked for the Coast Guard for 18 years, starting first as a contractor and then becoming a civilian federal employee. As ISD deputy chief, she leads a team of four others and manages more than 100 databases. More than 70 of those databases are for the Asset Logistics Management Information System, which she helped develop originally.

[

Crissy Taber

“...We (as civilians) remember all of the reasons why things happened 5 to 10 years ago; we’re able to carry that knowledge base through.”

“Everyone in the Coast Guard uses that system,” she said. More than 36 other databases are applications for the local base. “The government doesn’t always stay ahead of the curveball” when it comes to technology, Mizelle-Griffin said. “I pride myself on trying to stay ahead or stay in tune with the best industry practices.” The Ahoskie native continually attends training to gain knowledge and teaches math and computer science at Elizabeth City State University. She also teaches computer science for two online universities. “I love math, I always wanted to fly (and) I love science,” Mizelle-Griffin said. “I love programming (and) figuring out how to make things work. To be in this field gives me joy. I’m teaching my kids how to code as well. I like having fun with it.”

Steve Chesson

Angela Mizelle Submitted Photos

Mizelle-Griffin was one of the first graduates of ECSU’s aviation science degree program. She had studied in the airway science program in the 1990s, when it wasn’t offered as a major, earned a computer science degree, and later went back for another degree when she heard aviation science was a major. She earned a master’s degree from American Intercontinental University in information technology and internet security. Now, she

[

makes sure “everything from the IT standpoint is right” with the Coast Guard’s planes and helicopters. Together with the other civilian deputies and ALC employees, projects come to fruition. “The ALC is an amazing place to work, and it does a tremendous service for our country,” Chesson said. “I’m not sure everyone in Elizabeth City or even our surrounding area realizes that it’s the hub of Coast Guard aviation. Every aircraft the Coast Guard has comes back here for overhaul.” “Every time you see those planes rescuing people on shows like ‘The Deadliest Catch,’ they’re our aircraft,” Chesson said. “We tested them (and) sent them out there.”

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

PLYMEL

is ALC’s GS Employee of the Year

W

BY ANNA GOODWIN MCCARTHY Correspondent

hen Debora Plymel arrives to work in the morning, finding a place to park isn’t difficult. That’s because as a recent civilian employee of the year recipient there is a spot reserved just for her. Plymel, who is the Aviation Logistic Center’s General Schedule Civilian Employee of the Year for 2018, said she was shocked to learn she had received the employee of the year honor. “I never received anything like that before,” said the Army veteran. Plymel was first named an employee of the quarter and later notified in March that she had won employee of the year. One of the factors in earning her that designation was her work on a helicopter contract that included traveling twice to Dallas, Texas. “She was able to make key suggestions and implement improvements to the negotiation documentation that resulted in cost savings of over $1.5M to the government over the life of this contract,” according to a Coast Guard news release. “It was challenging,” Plymel said. “We worked the contract from the beginning to the end.” Plymel said the best part of her job in ALC’s Short Range Recovery Division was “getting to be a part of it.” “It’s kind of neat to be that close to the operation,” she said. Plymel is originally from Wyoming and served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1989. During that period she traveled from New Jersey to South Korea and to Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville. Her father was in the U.S. Navy and enlisting in the Army was “just something I wanted to do,” she said. Plymel’s husband, Don, was also in the Army and the couple moved 11 times in 15 years. “We didn’t stay anywhere more than three years,” she said. When Plymel’s husband retired from the U.S. Army in 2001, the couple moved to Elizabeth City. “I enjoyed being in the military and a military spouse,” said Plymel. She started working at the U.S. Coast Guard Base in 2007 as a materials handler, and she has been working as a contract specialist since 2009. “It’s a pretty amazing operation what they do out here,” said Plymel. Plymel said that when away from work she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. She and her husband like to travel and to ride their motorcycles. “The wind therapy is definitely nice,” she said.

Debora Plymel is the Aviation Logistic Center’s General Schedule Civilian Employee of the Year for 2018. Submitted Photo

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

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CRUZ

named 2018 top employee of ALC division BY KESHA WILLIAMS Correspondent

Jose Cruz, an aircraft planner in the Industrial Operation’s Division at the Aviation Logistics Center, is seen recently in front of an MH-60 helicopter. Kesha D. Williams

N

o two days are the same at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center, says civilian employee Jose Cruz. That’s why the aircraft planner says he enjoys going to work each day at the local base. “This job allows me to see what the civilian sector doesn’t see,” Cruz said of his job. “We can convert a former Navy plane configured to the mission of the Navy to our search and rescue mission. When it’s reconfigured to our requirements you see all the upgrades it is awesome.” Cruz was recently surprised when it was announced that he had been named the 2018 Employee of the Year for the Industrial Operations continued on page 18


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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

COALITION TO HELP COASTIES STAYING ACTIVE BY CHRIS DAY Multimedia Editor

I

n mid-December the specter of a partial federal government shutdown threatened U.S. Coast Guard members and their families. To prepare for what resulted in at least two paydays that members went unpaid, a group of Coast Guard organizations formed a coalition. “We formed the weekend before the shutdown,” said Ann Logan, the command master chief at the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Center. The partnership was named the Coast Guard Elizabeth City Coalition and included the following organizations: the Chief Petty Officers Association, Coast Guard Enlisted Association, Chief Warrant Officers Association, the Military Officers Association of America and the Elizabeth City Coast Guard Spouses Club. “We’ve got to do something,” Logan recalled the groups thinking as the shutdown loomed. Once created, the coalition’s priority was to establish a food pantry, which was set up at the CPOA’s clubhouse on Cardwell Street. The pantry was operated by members of the Chief Warrant Officers Association. The spouses had the biggest role, as they took on the responsibility of seeking donations of specific items from area agencies, Logan said. One example of the spouses’ work was a large donation of baby supplies the coalition received from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, she said. The Enlisted Association was the coalition’s “long distance runners,” Logan said. The group often traveled three to four hours out of the region to pick up donations. On one trip they returned with loads of dog and cat continued on page 34

U.S. Coast Guard Command Master Chief Ann Logan (left) accepts a check for $1,100 from Dan Serik, an Army veteran and the public relations officer for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6060, at the Chief Petty Officers Association building, in January. VFW presented the check to help the Coast Guard assist its members during the partial government shutdown. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

PHARR HONORED FOR

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VOLUNTEER SERVICE BY ANNA GOODWIN MCCARTHY Correspondent

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Chief Warrant Officer Jason Pharr (back, right) poses with his family, wife Tina, daughter Adison, and son Brady. Submitted photo

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s a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, Chief Warrant Officer Jason Pharr has dedicated his life to helping others. It was his voluntary service to the community that earned him the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. Pharr strives to serve his community, whether it involves unloading food at Food Bank of the Albemarle, helping out with Vacation Bible School at the Base Chapel or working with the Boys Scouts of America. Pharr said he has served on Scout committees for more than five years, and even served as committee chair for Pack 125. “I have always been service minded,” said Pharr. In honor of his 1,550 hours of volunteer community service, Pharr was presented the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. The Boy Scouts also recently honored Pharr with its Community Organization Award “for continued outstanding efforts and support of your community.” Pharr, who is an Eagle Scout himself, is now helping his son, Brady, and daughter, Adison, share similar experiences he had by their participation in Scouts BSA. The father said he wanted his children to have

the opportunity to participate in Scouts BSA and to gain the same leadership and outdoor skills he had as an Eagle Scout. One of the favorite activities he and his wife Tina like to share with the children is camping, he said. Pharr said it is important for him to be an example to his children and to “show love and kindness to others.” While he has been stationed throughout the United States, including Alabama, Hawaii and Florida, Elizabeth City has been his family’s home for the last five years. He grew up in Tennessee, where his parents helped others in need, he said. His father was a pharmacist and “always found time to help out.” Pharr said his family and his faith have been contributing factors to his desire to help others. “In church, people were always helping out,” Pharr said. “It was a part of what we always did when I was younger.” His family attends Towne South Church of Christ in Elizabeth City and he likes to “volunteer there wherever they need me.” “I’ve always been taught to help others,” he said. “It’s just something I have always enjoyed doing.”


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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

ALC

ROLLS OUT AIRCRAFT UPGRADES BY CORINNE SAUNDERS Correspondent

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avigational and communications systems for the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of HC-130J Hercules aircraft are among the components getting upgrades at the Aviation Logistics Center. Petty Officer 1st Class Michael McKinney is an aviation electrical technician at ALC. He is assigned to the department that is currently installing a navigational upgrade that will allow for more controlled landings for HC-130J pilots. With the upgrade, the aircraft will be able to fly using technology known as RNAV/GPS, or area navigation/ global positioning system. The RNAV/GPS approach allows for greater landing precision, McKinney said. Airliners already use the same system. The new system will replace what’s known as inertial navigation system, which emits a radio signal that basically forms a cone in front of the aircraft directing its approach. Because of the nature of the cone, the aircraft can still move up, down, left or right “quite a bit” within that space, McKinney said. A GPS system provides more defined instructions for the aircraft’s navigation system. “Guiding you in a GPS approach, the GPS will have you within feet,” McKinney said. The Coast Guard is only applying the upgrades to its “J” model fleet of C-130 airplanes. That’s because of significant differences in the electronic wiring systems between the “J” and older “H” model variants, McKinney said. On the outside the two different models “may look exactly the same, but they are two very different aircraft,” he said.

Additionally, all aircraft are receiving the FAA-mandated Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast location and identification system, which is geared toward flight safety. ADS-B provides air traffic control centers “multiple different parameters” — such as whether planes are ascending or descending — “so they know what the aircraft is doing (or) about to do, to help prevent mid-air collisions,” McKinney said. Personnel in McKinney’s department are adding the physical and avionic components of the new system to both “H” and “J” models. “It’s definitely good to see modernization, especially in aircraft…especially in H and J models,” said McKinney. The FAA is requiring all planes — military and civilian — to have the ADS-B upgrade installed by Jan. 1, 2020, he said. The ALC is comprised of four technical departments each based on the type of airframe each serves. “Each airframe has its own department,” McKinney said. “We’re all kind of doing the same exact thing; we just have different aircraft.” McKinney works in the long-range surveillance overhaul facility. Specifically, he works on the C-130J tech services and projects department. His department is tasked with breaking down the aircraft, inspecting each part, then reassembling the aircraft. McKinney estimated they complete this months-long cycle on about three planes a year.


U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019 The crew doing the tear-down is “looking for any discrepancies they can find, corrosion, and fatigue on the aircraft,” he said. During a typical day, McKinney helps with technical questions for avionics in this type of plane—anything related to electronics, navigation or electrical systems in “any project that we have going on between aircraft modification and prototyping.” Once the planes are reassembled, certified and returned to operational status they are transferred to the air station side of the Coast Guard base, he said. McKinney, 39, has been in the Coast Guard for 16 years, with 14 of those spent in avionics. He enjoys the technical troubleshooting aspect of his job, even when it’s difficult. “I get to learn something new every day,” McKinney said. “It’s like a puzzle. You’re given a problem and you just have to figure it out.”

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

continued from p. 13 Division. The award citation states that Cruz, who is the planner and point of contact for five IOD shops, “excels, serving as the touch point where strategic planning meets tactical production. Cruz manages the IOD Blast/Paint Booth schedule and coordinates with every product line to optimize aircraft blasting, washing, and painting at various points of the PDM cycle. As a result of his leadership and high level of project management, the IOD paint booth often finished aircraft early and provided the product line critical days afloat. Cruz ensures on a daily basis that critical parts are expedited as needed and handled with priority.” “We support seven different platforms here and we repair in a timely manner aircraft that comes here from our product line,” Cruz said, of his role in the planning department. Cruz said the Coast Guard is an armed service branch that is responsible for an array of aviation and maritime duties, which range from ensuring safe and lawful commerce to performing rescue missions. “Our rescue teams help civilians who are in trouble on their personal boats,” Cruz said. “They help passengers aboard cruise ships who need medical rescues. Our C -130 planes performed rescue missions in Puerto Rico to help with the 2017 evacuations following Hurricane Maria. When you serve in the Coast Guard, you are working to protect U.S. interests everyday.” Prior to going to work at ALC in 2000, Cruz served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He started working as an aircraft mechanic and earned a bundle of skills while working in

aviation and infantry. During his time as a Marine, his family expanded to include two sons, who are both U.S. Army pilots, and a daughter, who owns and operates a salon. Cruz said he told his children to pursue their own career goals and to join the military because he served. While setting and reaching personal goals was a driving factor for Cruz, he wanted his children to reach their own professional objectives. Cruz had always wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree but military assignments and Marine life made it difficult to complete courses. While at ALC, he has earned a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his airframe and/or powerplant license. He often takes time to encourage younger employees to pursue additional training. Cruz estimates that he may see as many as 40 different aircraft get overhauled or undergo complete modifications within a year at ALC before the aircraft are delivered back to air stations. He finds his job rewarding because it allows him to troubleshoot and to prevent and resolve problems. It also allows him to work with people from different backgrounds and experiences and from different skill sets. “This job not a comfort job. I’m moving around much of the day working with different people,” Cruz said. “I keep notes of the employees I’ve talked to and remind them of their ‘To-Do Lists.’ Communication is the breakfast of champions. You can do anything if you have good communication.”

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

Capt. Mark Shepard, shown here during a recent interview, oversees a vast array of emergency responses as commander of both the National Strike Force and the National Strike Force Coordination Center in Elizabeth City. Shepard is entering his third and final year as National Strike Force commander. Ercmy Tillmon/The Daily Advance

National Strike Force has world-wide reach

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hen you drive by the relatively small, nondescript building on North Road Street that houses the National Strike Force Coordination Center you’re not likely to guess that the building is the nerve center of a highly trained, nimble unit that responds to natural and man-made disasters around the world. In the past year alone the National Strike Force has helped rescue people from hurricanes and typhoons worldwide, helped reunite migrant families who had been separated at America’s Southwest border, participated in the seizure of tons of cocaine in Guatemala, and removed gasoline and other hazardous materials from houses and other buildings in the path of the rapidly advancing Camp Fire in California. Overseeing this vast array of emergency responses is Capt. Mark Shepard, commander of the National Strike Force and commanding officer of the National Strike Force Coordination Center.

BY REGGIE PONDER Staff Writer

The National Strike Force Coordination Center is the office for about 22 personnel. While most of them are Coast Guard, others are civilians with expertise needed by the Strike Force. The National Strike Force was formed in 1974 and the National Strike Force Coordination Center was established in the early 1990s in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Shepard has been the commander of the National Strike Force since 2017. He just began his third and final year in the post. The Strike Force includes active duty personnel, reservists, auxiliary and civilians. Among the civilian employees is Dale Hemenway, an expert in equipment inspections who has been with the Coordination Center for 18 years. Shepard joined the Coast Guard in 1996 and has worked in marine inspections, incident response and port security. In the immediate aftermath of the

terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Shepard worked in port security in New York City’s harbor. He has responded to hurricanes, earthquakes and a variety of other disasters, both natural and man-made. Although much of its focus is on hazardous materials management and environmental disasters, the mission of the National Strike Force is “all hazards response,” Shepard explained. The National Strike Force consists of the headquarters in Elizabeth City — known as the National Strike Force Coordination Center — and the Public Information Assist Team, the Norfolk, Va.-based Coast Guard Incident Management Assist Team, and the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific strike teams based in New Jersey, Alabama and California. The Public Information Assist Team, or PIAT, specializes in crisis communications, including communicating risks associated with a disaster to the general public. PIAT also helps members of different agencies responding together continued on page 31


U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

ERWIN excels in fast-paced Strike Force ENVIRONMENT BY REGGIE PONDER Staff Writer

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ames Erwin’s willingness and ability to move seamlessly from one task to another amid the fast-paced environment of the National Strike Force Coordination Center has earned him the semi-annual Performance Award at the Elizabeth City-based command. Erwin, a yeoman who has served in the Coast Guard since January 2005, handles personnel and other support duties at the Coordination Center, which oversees National Strike Force disaster response around the globe. Erwin served previously in California, Boston, Buffalo, Dallas, Texas, and in Ketchikan, Alaska. “You expect to move fairly regularly,� Erwin said. Erwin worked at MEPCOM in Dallas, processing personnel who were entering the military. He processed paperwork and scheduled their transportation to boot camp. “That was kind of a cool job,� he said. But the National Strike Force Coordination Center is about the most exciting and interesting duty a yeoman can have, he said. Erwin has been at the National Strike Force Coordination Center since July of last year.

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“This has been a much different job than I have ever had,� he said. One big difference is that at the Coordination Center Erwin is the only person at his rate. That means he operates much more independently than he has in any other assignment. Although Erwin doesn’t deploy to the scattered sites around the world that other Strike Force members go to, he makes a lot of the travel arrangements for personnel and tracks them while they are deployed. For that reason his work is integral to the mission of the National Strike Force and he gets a lot of satisfaction from that, he said. “There are very few places in the Coast Guard where a yeoman can be directly involved in the mission,� Erwin said. “I am more directly involved than I have been other places and that is pretty rewarding for me.� A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Erwin was living in Alabama after graduating from high school and began meeting with recruiters to decide which branch of the military he would join. He said he liked that he could join the Coast Guard with a guaranteed rate. His whole career has been as a yeoman, specializing in personnel management and support.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

ALC TEAM PRESENTED AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE BY ANNA GOODWIN MCCARTHY Correspondent

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group of accounting professionals at the Aviation Logistics Center has been recognized for accomplishing a project that was once thought insurmountable. “Everyone here said it could not be accomplished,” said senior coordinator and accountant Sarah Gillis. An ALC risk management team was recently awarded the Bill Mason Excellence in Internal Controls Award for Superior Mission Achievement. The focus of the project was a financial task that previous personnel had tried to make more efficient for 20 years. It was this group of team members who were able to accomplish the task, according to a Coast Guard news release. “We kept going at it a lot of ways,” said Gillis. “We brought in specific consultants, we researched items.” Gillis said they were also able to utilize an efficient software system to analyze the management of aviation parts that range from screws to propeller blades. “It took a lot of work,” said Gillis, describing the extensive process. The financial process has become more time efficient as a result of the completion of the project. “We are better able to support what we are doing with our parts,” Gillis said.join the Coast Guard with a guaranteed rate. His whole career has been as a yeoman, specializing in personnel management and support.

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While not included in the award, Gillis praised the work of Thom Kingston, a former project team member who died in 2014. “He really was passionate about working on this project,” said Gillis. “He had identified some of the root causes. He also did a lot of work to build relationships with different shops.” In May, a few of the project members attended attended a convention in Washington DC where they received a plaque for “Superior Mission Achievement” from the Department of Homeland Security.yeoman, specializing in personnel management and support.

Pictured are Chip Fulghum, the acting Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Management, and Aviation Logistics Center employees Emily Holmes, Crystal Taber, Carole Earwood, Sarah Gillis, and Stacy Marcott, acting DHS chief financial officer.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

FORSBLOM WINS

MUNRO AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE, LEADERSHIP FROM STAFF REPORTS

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ir Station Elizabeth City’s very own Lee Forsblom has won the 2019 Douglas A. Munro Award for Inspirational Leadership, recognizing excellence in both his work and bringing the best out of his fellow service members. Forsblom, an aviation maintenance technician and native of Hankins, New York, won the award in June, according to a Coast Guard news release by Petty Officer 2nd Class Katharine Lipe. With the award, Forsblom was also promoted from petty officer to chief petty officer. The award is presented annually by the Navy League. “I’m not a big, flashy awards guy,” Forsblom said in the release about the honor. “I just feel that we have a job, and we go out and do it, and when you do get recognized for it, that’s awesome.” Forsblom could not be reached for comment for this story. According to the release, Forsblom’s personal accomplishments at Air Station Elizabeth City include managing air assets that supported almost 2,000 flight hours, including in search-and-rescue missions that saved more than 140 lives. The release also details Forsblom led aircraft maintenance of seven MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters during the Coast Guard’s response to Hurricane Florence last fall, supporting 338 missions that saved or assisted 284 people. More routinely, Forsblom is also the MH-60T night shift supervisor and flight mechanic examiner. He also manages maintenance resources and inspects for quality assurance. The release also notes Forsblom got perfect scores in both his flight mechanic and basic aircrew tests. The Douglas A. Munro Award is named for the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient, who died evacuating Marines trapped on a beach during

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World War II. The award isn’t handed out just for professional competence; its recipients also show outstanding leadership, as a Coast Guard website explains. To that point, the release included testimonials from Forsblom’s senior officer and fellow crew members. Lee Forsblom, an aviation “He’s well respected by everybody on maintenance technician and the hangar deck, which is a hard thing chief petty officer at Air Station to do,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rick Williams, who Elizabeth City, has won the 2019 nominated Forsblom for the award. He Douglas A. Munro Award for Inspirational Leadership. The honor continued that Forsblom is “respected recognizes him for excellence in because he’s knowledgeable and he both his work and for bringing cares about the people he works with, the best out of his fellow service and everybody sees that.” members. Forsblom also helps new crew Submitted Photo members learn and excel in the critical, but highly complex, task of aircraft maintenance. Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Mize commented, “as a junior mechanic, when you first hop in here and you see this helicopter … it’s not like working on the old car in the backyard. To have a guy like that really take his time, with patience, and give you his knowledge really helps.” Forsblom also doesn’t “take himself too seriously,” and has accepted the nickname “Bull,” after one of his crew members said he looked like the eponymous character from the TV show “Night Court.” The release also notes Forsblom is married, with two children, and is an active member of his New Begun Methodist Church in Elizabeth City. He’s also a volunteer coach in youth baseball, softball and basketball. His whole career has been as a yeoman, specializing in personnel management and support.

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To the Men & Women of the United States Coast Guard and All Our Armed Forces THANK YOU


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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

COA

Trains Workers For Skilled Jobs At Base

Darnell Chamblee operates a HAAS CNC lathe with live tooling. Submitted Photo

BY ANNA GOODWIN MCCARTHY Correspondent

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ollege of The Albemarle provides a solid stream of skilled trades specialists to keep mission-critical equipment functioning properly for the U.S. Coast Guard. Chris Waugaman, a work leader at the machine shop at the base in Elizabeth City, said people who work in the machine shop, sheet metal shop and in other skilled trades on the base get the satisfaction of knowing their work contributes to the important mission of the Coast Guard. Waugaman said COA has topnotch programs in machining, computer-aided design, aircraft maintenance and other areas that prepare workers to meet the mission-driven demands of working at the Coast Guard Base. “That program works for us and we’re glad that it’s moving in the direction that it’s going in, because it’s focused on aviation,� Waugaman said. Right now in the machine shop there are 31 employees, and 22 of them went through the

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

They come in and (our focus is) basically familiarizing them with our shop and making sure they understand what our shop and our processes are...”

machining program at COA. Others have taken one or two courses to update their skills. “Most haven’t come directly from COA,” Waugaman said, explaining that many first get experience in other machine shops in the area. Waugaman took the machining program at COA in 1995-1996 and one of the other work leaders went through the program in the early 1980s. The program at COA has continued to improve over the years, he said. COA’s campus in Currituck, known as the Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center, is geared more toward aviation, Waugaman said, and in the years since he was a student the college has begun to place more emphasis on mass production and newer technology. “It prepares them to do the work,” he said of COA’s program. Students learn both traditional and automated processes, blueprint reading, and other necessary skills. “They come in and (our focus is) basically familiarizing them with our shop and making sure they understand what our shop and our processes are,” Waugaman said. “But the knowledge they gain from COA

Darnell Chamblee operates a HAAS CNC lathe with live tooling. Submitted Photo

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

allows them to do that with minimal training.” The shop emphasizes safety and the COA instructors also stress safety, he said. College of the Albemarle officials say graduates in machining, aviation and computer-aided drafting are finding employment at the base. The COA machining program uses student projects to teach students “complex part geometry,” a skill needed in the work done at the Coast Guard Base. The Coast Guard and other employees are invited to participate in annual advisory boards for the programs to make sure the courses are meeting workforce needs. “COA’s Aviation Systems Technologies program is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under 14 CFR Part 147, which governs aviation maintenance schools,” according to a statement provided by the college. “We must meet the FAA standards and curriculum guidelines, and this ensures students

who complete the program have the knowledge and skills needed to qualify for an aircraft mechanic’s certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. Once a student receives these ratings he/she can work on any U.S. Aircraft.” Waugaman explained that the machine shop at the base repairs components when possible, which minimizes the cost of parts. They test damaged parts for corrosion and other issues, and if a part can’t be repaired the workers red-flag it and don’t allow it to go back on the aircraft. But many times parts can be repaired. And if a new part is needed the shop can manufacture parts. That’s important, because parts from some of the older aircraft are no longer available from the original manufacturer. Waugaman said that becomes more necessary as aircraft age. “It’s probably going to come a little bit more as these aircraft continue to age,” he said.

Thank You For Your Service! Gracias Amigos, Guarda Costas!

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Nate Manning operates a tool post grinder making tools. Owner is retired Coast Guard

Submitted Photo


U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

continued from p. 22 to a disaster to communicate smoothly and efficiently with each other. National Strike Force personnel regularly inspect oil spill response equipment to ensure the equipment is ready in the event of a spill. That is among the routine operations of the Strike Force that keep members busy between disasters. But then there’s never any shortage of disasters. Ongoing, routine operations include training and readiness. Strike force members deploy alongside teams from other agencies in responding to major disasters. “We may deploy right alongside them as part of the team,” Shepard said. Members of the National Strike Force fulfill roles within a larger incident management team.For instance, the commander for the Atlantic Strike Force was sent for about three weeks to the Southwest border. The Coast Guard has filled about 150 positions on the border, two of them from the Strike Force. Last year the Strike Force sent personnel to help with reuniting children with their families after migrant families had been separated. Also last year, Strike Force personnel assisted in the response to the Camp Fire in California. The Strike Force has expertise in dealing with hazardous materials and was involved in searching for and removing hazardous materials from homes and other buildings in the fire’s path.National Strike Force personnel are currently working in Ogden, Utah, with Utah environmental officials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a site where thousands of containers of waste have been found. Strike Force experts are identifying the contents of any containers that haven’t yet been fully identified. Civilian employees remain at the National Strike Force Coordination Center as long as they need to. Coast Guard personnel typically are deployed to the center for three- or four-year stints. The commander is rotated every three years. Other units also have representatives at the National Strike Force Coordination Center. The Waterways Operation Product Line is involved in tasks such as maintaining aids to navigation. The National Strike Force Center of Expertise manages a training program in disaster response, especially in hazardous materials identification and mitigation. Although the group has “National Strike Force” as part of its name and is housed in the National Strike Force Coordination Center, the National Strike Force Center of Expertise is actually not part of the National Strike Force. The supervisor of the National Strike Force Center of Expertise, Lt. Jeremy Leggett, worked with the Pacific Strike Team from 2013-16 and then attended graduate school at the University of San Francisco before coming to Elizabeth City.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

HOMELAND SECURITY DEGREE GOOD FIT FOR ECSU, COAST GUARD BY REGGIE PONDER Staff Writer

T

he needs of U.S. Coast Guard personnel and Elizabeth City State University’s proximity to Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City are among the factors that led ECSU to develop a degree in homeland security. The degree has been in development for more than a year and last fall was approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Recently, the program received accreditation and approval by the U.S. Department of Education. Once the program starts this fall it will be the first of its kind for a four-year public institution in North Carolina and the first at a historically black college or university. The program will teach students about the role of intelligence and the impact of policy in securing the country from threats and natural disasters. Students who complete the program are expected to have a broad understanding of global politics, security issues, economics, and domestic and terrorist organizations. The planned bachelor’s degree program is expected to prepare students for careers in law enforcement, security, intelligence gathering and criminal investigations. The program is designed to be provided both on campus and online. The bachelor of science in homeland security studies was first proposed to the ECSU Board of Trustees early last year by then-Provost Vann Newkirk. The trustees approved the program, moving it along to the UNC Board of Governors for approval. Newkirk told the ECSU trustees in June 2018 that the homeland security degree will prepare students for careewrs in homeland security, national security and intelligence. The curriculum is an especially good fit for ECSU because of the university’s proximity to Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City and its working relationship with the Coast Guard, according to Newkirk. Homeland security will be ECSU’s second degree available entirely online. The first is interdisciplinary studies. Because of the online format, students could pursue the homeland security degree from anywhere in the world where they could connect to the internet. That will be particularly important for Coast Guard personnel and other members of the military who might be interested in the degree and who would be subject to being moved far away from the physical campus, Newkirk explained.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

U.S. Coast Guard families enjoy Coast Guard Day at last year’s event. This year’s local Coast Guard Day celebration will be Thursday, Aug. 1. The Daily Advance

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

COAST L GUARD DAY HONORS 229 YEARS OF SERVICE

ocal U.S. Coast Guard members and families will gather Aug. 1 to celebrate the 229th birthday of the maritime service. The Coast Guard was created Aug. 4, 1790, and is the nation’s oldest continuous seagoing service. Locally, the Coast Guard will hold Coast Guard Day on Thursday, Aug. 1, to celebrate the service’s birthday. The celebration will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on base, and will have plenty of activities for attendees. “A lot of family-oriented stuff going on,� said Michael Hill, assistant director for base Morale, Wellness and Recreation. Many of the events scheduled will be new for Coast Guard Day. For instance, the Tidewater Drive Band, a high-energy band from Norfolk with a full horn section, and the pro wrestling-style Next Evolution Wrestling have never appeared at the local celebration. A clown and a mad scientist are also scheduled to perform tricks for the children, and the group Kinderdance, a dance program for children up to 12

BY DAVID GOUGH Sports Writer

continued from p. 14

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food for members’ pets. “They were kind of like our voluntary workforce,� Logan said, of the Enlisted Association.While the coalition was huge in responding to the needs of Coast Guard families during the shutdown, Logan credited the community’s response.“We couldn’t have done it without the support of our community,� Logan said. “It was overwhelming.�The partial federal government shutdown began at midnight Dec. 22, 2018, after Washington lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a spending

years old, will perform, too. Sesame Street characters from Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, are set for return appearances. There also will be a car show. Also new this year is a virtual reality roller coaster and a USO game truck with video games to play. There also will be an obstacle wall and bumper cars. Other returning activities include a petting zoo and a dunk. “It should be a pretty good time I think with what we have going on thus far,� Hill said. For the hungry attendees, there will be chicken, barbecue chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and more on hand. Hill noted that this year’s Coast Guard Day has up to 25 sponsors. “Significantly more local sponsors this year, which we are forever grateful for,� Hill said. “That number is unheard of, so it’s a blessing.�

bill. Because the Coast Guard falls under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the service’s roughly 44,000 members, plus about 800,000 civilian employees, including about 1,200 at ALC, were affected by the shutdown. That was unlike the Department of Defense, whose services were funded during the shutdown. For Coast Guard families, the shutdown meant going at least two paydays without being paid before the shutdown ended on Friday, Jan. 25. It was the longest partial federal government

shutdown in U.S. history. While the shutdown ended months ago, the coalition remains intact and is living up to the Coast Guard motto, “Semper paratus.� “We still meet quarterly,� Logan said. The lessons learned from the shutdown have helped the coalition to get ready for other potential emergencies, such as a hurricane. “Any emergency that you can think of that will affect our community,� Logan said.

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

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U.S. COAST GUARD EDITION, THE DAILY ADVANCE, TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

WE SALUTE THE U.S. COAST GUARD EARNING YOUR TRUST SINCE 1967

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Coast Guard Section 2019  

Coast Guard Section 2019