Summer 2016

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, District 9 CR Volume XXXVI, No. 2

• On the Shoulders of Giants • Why I Joined the Auxiliary • The Places We’ve Been • District Air Operations • Aboard the cutter Seneca


Summer 2016


Summer 2016

On the Cover The colors wave over an Auxiliary facility and the blue waters of Lake Huron during boat school training. Division 26 conducted a Boat School at Station St. Ignace, Michigan, on June 10–12. (Photo by Larry Ferguson, Flotilla 26-08)

District 9 Central Region Mark Villeneuve, District Commodore Robert Stauffer, District Chief of Staff Susan Thurlow, District Captain-North Norm Raymond, District Captain-Central Catherine Slabaugh, District Captain-South

In This Issue Operational Safety.............................................................................................................................................. 4 On the Shoulders of Giants ............................................................................................................................. 5 Why I Joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary........................................................................................................ 6 You Are the Glue............................................................................................................................................... 7 A Tale of Friendship ......................................................................................................................................... 9 Valiant Underway.............................................................................................................................................10 Are You That Kind of Flotilla?......................................................................................................................12 Oh, the Places We Have Gone......................................................................................................................13 Seasons Change, and So Should You............................................................................................................15 District 9CR Air Operations ..........................................................................................................................16 My Time aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca .........................................................................................18

The Mainstream is published three times per year by the Ninth Central Region, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, at no cost to the US Coast Guard or the Government. Thom Brennan, Editor. EMail articles to: [email protected] Confidentiality Notice: PRIVACY ACT OF 1974: The disclosure of the personal information contained in this publication is subject to the provisions contained in the Privacy Act of 1974. The subject Act, with certain exceptions, prohibits the disclosure, distribution, dissemination or copying of any material containing the home address, home telephone number, spouses names, and social security numbers, except for official business. Violations may result in disciplinary action by the Coast Guard and/or civilian criminal sanctions.



Summer 2016 The Many Faces and Activities of District 9 CR

(Clockwise from upper left): AUX-FS Diane Campbell (Flotilla 22-04) in the galley at Boat Crew Training in St. Ignace; Coastie the Safety Boat during the Station St. Ignace open house; A selfie of Larry Ferguson (Flotilla 26-08) during Boat Crew Training; Heinz Ledowski and Steve Farrell (both Flotilla 30-04) conduct VSCs at Silver Bay Marina on Lake Superior; Kevin Tooker and Gary Garritson from Flotilla 30-05 repair a radio antenna after storm damage; Flotilla 30-04 Color Guard (Elmer Engman, Steve Daniel, Lynn Bentfield and Dave Hooey) at the Memorial Day Parade in West Duluth Photo by Richard Borth, Flotilla 26-08

Photo by Lynda Stolt, Flotilla 26-02 Photo by Ron Rilling, Flotilla 30-04

Photo by Larry Ferguson, Flotilla 26-08

Photo by Tracey Alderson, Flotilla 30-05


Photo by Elmer Engman, Flotilla 30-04


Summer 2016

Operational Safety Mark R. Villeneuve Commodore, District 9 Central Region


t the time of the writing of this article, we will have been well into our operational season. It is important that we continue to train and work to achieve the maximal proficiency possible. Whether this is accomplished through structured training such as the Excellence Award or SABOT training, or whether this is through local organized events, continued training and not allowing skill sets to become stale is an important component of a commitment to excellence. There have been, and continue to be, opportunities in both the surface and the air programs across the District and I encourage all Auxiliarists involved in these programs to take advantage of the training opportunities that are available; both seasoned veterans of operations as well as those just achieving qualifications.

A recent safety survey has indicated that most surface injuries occur at the dockside.

One of the often overlooked benefits of repetitive training is safety. I would like to emphasize this aspect of training in this article and encourage all to incorporate concepts of safety into all of their operational activities. We have become accustomed now to the PPE program whose emphasis is to maintain a safe environment for those on the water. Similarly, the air program has been heavily involved in Crew Resource Management and Just Culture/Safe Culture, both emphasizing aspects of safety. As important as these programs are, the ultimate responsibility rests upon the individual to maintain an open mind and to objectively assess their commitment as well as their proficiency in the area of safety. I encourage Auxiliarists to take some time and complete, at the very least, a self-assessment with regard to their proficiency in the area of safety. Often overlooked are small things, hand placement when securing a line for example, that are best assessed by other observers. I encourage Auxiliarists to also seek objective critique from others. A recent safety survey and report has indicated that most surface injuries occur at the dockside. This is enlightening in that it points out that at the time that the patrol has typically finished or before it begins is not the time to be less circumspect with regard to safety. So how may one assess their proficiency? I think that there is a reasonable measure as to where one might be with regard to their proficiency. If you find yourself pausing in order to clarify in your mind the steps in a particular evolution then, I would suggest, proficiency is not there. If you are able to complete a task without consciously thinking through the steps of the evolution then, I would suggest, you may have finally achieved proficiency. This is possible through training, training, and repeated training both on the water for example as well as away from the water. Similar concepts apply for air program participants. In the remaining operational season, I ask all Auxiliarists to continue to be careful and maintain safety as one of the many focuses. Train to a safe standard, train often. Be prepared. I wish for all a successful and safe operational season. ;



Summer 2016

On the Shoulders of Giants Commander Jorge Martinez Director of Auxiliary, 9th Coast Guard District


uring the spring District Training events I spoke about the importance of the Coast Guard’s SAR and Auxiliary’s RBS missions which, of course, are married together. If the Coast Guard and the Auxiliary were to cease to exist tomorrow, these missions, respectively, would be the last to go; they are our Hallmark and will continue to be our keystone. Why? Because there is no more noble cause then saving a life or preventing loss of life which is what the Auxiliary does every day.

We stand on the shoulders of giants—those who have gone before us.

You may have also heard me mention in the past that we stand on the shoulders of giants—those who have gone before us. So as we prepare for the upcoming boating season, which will probably come early this year, I think it important to look back at our humble but heroic past. And what better place to look than at the history of the Gold Lifesaving medal? As a matter of fact, it was through a conversation with Harry Archer (FC 091-16-12) that I got the idea for this article. And you will note the rich Gold Lifesaving medal history that the Great Lakes region enjoys. Heroic deeds and daring rescues at sea have always been a part of the Coast Guard tradition. But it was not until Congress passed the Life-Saving Act of June 20, 1874, that First and Second Class Medals were established and medals were awarded. The first medal was reserved for rescues of extreme and heroic daring, the second for those slightly less outstanding. Congress changed these designations in 1882, renaming the First Class medal the Gold Lifesaving Medal, and the Second Class Medal the Silver Lifesaving Medal. These medals are awarded to people who endanger their own lives while saving or attempting to save another from drowning, a shipwreck or other perils of the water. The first gold medals were awarded to three brothers who rescued two people from a shipwreck on Lake Erie in 1875. In November of the same year, two men received silver medals after they rescued two people from a shipwreck off the Maine coast. Shortly thereafter, a Gold Lifesaving Medal was awarded to Captain Joseph Napier, keeper of Life-Boat Station No. 6, District No. 10, for the daring gallantry he displayed in rescuing the crew of the schooner D. G. Williams, near the harbor of St. Joseph, MI, on 10 October 1877. The schooner lay stranded during a heavy gale on the outer bar, with the sea breaking over her, with her unfortunate crew of six men up in the rigging for safety. Captain Napier got together three volunteers, commandeered a boat, and pushed out for the wreck. At the first attempt, the boat capsized in the breakers. On the second try, he reached the wreck and returned with two of the sailors. During the third trip, the boat completely filled with water, but was bailed and again reached the vessel, bearing off two men. On the fourth attempt, Captain Napier and his three assistants were thrown out of the boat by a furious surge and one of his legs was badly hurt. One of the men swam ashore. Another got a line flung to him from the wreck and was taken aboard. Captain Napier and the other man, clinging to the boat, succeeded in righting it and bringing it alongside the



Summer 2016

schooner. They then took off the two remaining men of her crew, together with the man taken on board, and regained the shore in safety. One of the most celebrated lifesavers in our history was Joshua James. James is credited with saving more than 600 lives and earned two gold medals, three silver and other awards during his long and distinguished career. At the age of 15, James joined the Massachusetts Humane Society and later the U.S. Life-Saving Service. His most famous rescue, and one in which he received one of the Gold Lifesaving medals, was in November of 1888. James and his crew saved 29 people from five different vessels during one of the worst storms to hit Hull, Massachusetts. Since 1874, more than 600 Gold Lifesaving Medals and more than 1,900 Silver Lifesaving Medals have been awarded. On the shoulders of giants indeed!!! Be proud of what you do. Be professional in how you do it. And most important, thank you for what you do in “honoring the mariner.” ;

Why I Joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary Charles E. Reagan Flotilla 20-19 Staff Officer, Secretary/Records


s many of you will recall, on Christmas Day 2009, a terrorist attempted to detonate an explosive device aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The flight originated at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport and the terrorist will always be remembered as the “Underwear Bomber.”

As part of the extensive analysis of this incident, it was determined that if the terrorist had succeeded, 290 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus 330 would have lost their lives and it would have been the deadliest aviation “accident” in US history.

Known forever to history as the Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was convicted of eight criminal counts including the attempted murder of 289 people. On February 16, 2012, he was sentenced to four life terms plus 50 years without parole and is currently incarcerated at a federal supermax prison. Abdulmutallab’s terrorist actions on Christmas Day 2009 led directly to the enrollment of at least one Auxiliarist. (U.S. Marshall’s Office/EPA photo)


Additionally, since the investigators knew the exact course, speed, and altitude of Flight 253, and exactly when and where the terrorist had tried to detonate the explosive during the flight, they could determine the likely crash site and the debris field of Flight 253. Note: It was reported that the terrorist was instructed to wait until the flight was over land... in the USA, to maximize the damage on the ground as well. The crash site/debris field would have been those towns that are located along the shoreline of Lake St. Clair… St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, and Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan! Since this is where I live, I could not imagine the horror of aircraft engines and body parts crashing through the roof of my home on Christmas morning! During my career on the civilian side, I traveled extensively with business trips taking me to Europe, Japan, China, etc., on a regular basis. I am a million mile flyer on Northwest/Delta airlines. Between Labor Day and Christmas 2009, I flew home from Amsterdam on Flight 253... three times! In looking back at my many trips home via Schipol Airport, I am very surprised… how did the underwear bomber ever get through security? The security procedure at Schipol was as thorough as at any airport. Every passenger on every flight was individually “screened” and questioned at a podium manned by airport security. This was done before placing any carry-on baggage through the x-ray scanners. Christmas Eve security in Amsterdam must have been manned by the “B Team.”


Summer 2016

On reflecting on my “four close calls” regarding Flight 253, and from a U.S. Coast Guard standpoint, I always thought, “What would be the worst case scenario for Sector Detroit?” Here are my thoughts: If the underwear bomber had been successful, and the bomb took Flight 253’s trajectory slightly east, the crash site would have been Lake St. Clair! Can you just imagine trying to search for 290 potential survivors in ice-covered Lake St. Clair.... in December? The only thing that could make this situation any worse would be to have this tragedy occur at night! After the September 11th attack on the United States I felt very strongly that every citizen should not only be aware of potential terrorist attacks on our homeland, but be ready to assist when “all hands on deck” are needed. This is why I joined the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. ;

You Are the Glue Thom McQueen BC-QIO Incident Management & Preparedness


aradigm shift, defined: “A Paradigm shift is a change in the basic assumptions.”

I was talking with one of my Auxiliary mentors, who related a story about Total Quality Management (TQM). Wikipedia says “TQM functions on the premise that the quality of products and processes is the responsibility of everyone who is involved with the creation or consumption of the products or services offered by an organization.” In other words, TQM capitalizes on the involvement of management, workforce, suppliers, and even customers, in order to meet or exceed customer expectations. Which brings me to the subject matter of this article, glue.

We are in a paradigm shift in the Auxiliary.

Our world is in a constant state of change; we can look back just in our lifetimes and see how much change there has been. We have gone from walking to the wall and lifting a telephone receiver and saying, “Clara, connect me to Aunt Bee,” to picking up our I-Pads and surfing the Internet with every available application known to mankind. We are rethinking, over time, the way we do our daily business. Even in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. If you think it is a lot of bother to go online and fill out an ANSC-7029, think of not so long ago when we had to do a hard copy every time we filled out any form. We are in a paradigm shift in the Auxiliary. Even though change has been in-process for some time, it has been so gradual that we may not have realized that there is change going on. For that reason, for most of us this shift seems to have come about suddenly. So, what is this shift? Historically speaking, the Auxiliary was created as a “Force Multiplier” to assist the Coast Guard during World War II. We helped guard our Nation with offshore patrols, anti-submarine patrols, and searches for invading enemy waterborne forces as well as radio watch-standing. Somewhere along the line after the war, there was a paradigm shift. “Fellowship is the glue that holds the organization together” became the mindset and that mentality



Summer 2016

soon took center stage. Fellowship became one of our four cornerstones. This cornerstone shifted our posture toward keying on hamburgers and hot dogs as one of our “missions.” While I personally think that fellowship is important, it goes beyond hamburgers and hot dogs. I believe that doing what we took an Oath to do is the “glue that holds this organization together.” We are being asked to do more for the Coast Guard and the boating public than we ever have before. With cutbacks in the Coast Guard budgets, we are being asked to pick up the slack and give more to the Coast Guard than we have done in the past.

We are being asked to do more for the Coast Guard and the boating public than we ever have before.

That’s the paradigm shift that is now occurring. We are getting back to the needs of the Coast Guard and the boating public. We need to rethink our position on who the customer really is. Do we really know who our customers are? If you say that the Coast Guard and the boating public are our customers, you are correct, up to a point. But, do you realize that the members of our organization are customers as well? As part of Team Coast Guard, we have a need to serve not only the Coast Guard and the public, but to serve our membership as well. As Auxiliarists, we also have to serve each member and our leadership as customers. If there is any doubt as to these statements, please read again the Pledge we all took as new members when we were sworn in to the Auxiliary. There are changes in the wind for our organization. We are in the midst of another paradigm shift and whether we want to admit it or not, we have got to go with the winds of change. It has been said that the only thing permanent is change, and I firmly believe this. Gone are the days of the absolute reign of our elected leadership. We should attempt to practice Total Quality Management in our routines. You may wonder how and when to do this, and the answer is “every day.” When you send an email asking for input from others; when you make a call to ask other members thoughts; when you ask for articles for the newsletters, you practice TQM. Your input is important, but so is the input of others. It’s called “Team Coast Guard” for a reason. From the day you filled out that ANSC-7001 Enrollment Application and became a member of the Auxiliary, YOU became important to the successful operation and business of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. You are the glue. We are all customers to each other, and we are all important to each other. How much are we serving our customers? Bob Dylan sang: “For the times they are a-changin’.” Individually, personally, and as a team and Flotilla, are we ready to accept the changes or are we happy to sit and watch the world go by? ;



Summer 2016

A Tale of Friendship Norm Raymond District Captain—Central


embers—greetings to all and I hope this article finds you and yours in the best of health, enjoying the great weather we have been having; as well as doing the business of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

I want to focus this article on the human-interest side of what we do. Without a doubt, our many Flotillas and District Staff have been working hard to provide a Mission Complete in all of the areas and disciplines we touch in our quest to provide excellent service to the public and our Active Duty and Reserve shipmates. I am going to relate a personal experience that, to me, exemplifies an aspect of the Auxiliary, that being friendship. I am talking about my friend Bill Dyda (Flotilla 09120-10, Warren). The story starts with Bill and I at a very young age, actually a time when we were both in grade school and were altar boys at a local church in Hazel Park, MI. Bill was older than I and was training new altar boys, of which I was one. We did not know each other much, if at all, when Bill finished 8th grade and moved on. We went in different directions and never saw each other or communicated until about 2007 when we discovered our former acquaintance at the former Royal Oak Elks Lodge (now the Royal Oak—Detroit Elks Lodge). I had transferred from the Ferndale Elks, otherwise we may not have connected. As time went on, we became fast friends. Bill had a couple boats over the years and liked being on the water. Unfortunately, Bill’s wife passed away and it looked to me like he needed something to occupy his time. So I approached him about joining the USCGAUX and he seemed interested. I took him to some flotilla meetings and he ultimately joined. He was kind of shilling around, trying to find a good fit in the Auxiliary, when I noticed that he loved cooking. He cooked at our Elks Lodge for our Friday night dinners as well as other cooking opportunities. I recommended that he go to the newly-minted Aux Chef school at the Henry when the class became available. Bill completed the school with excellence and was tremendously happy when he started cooking at USCG Station Belle Isle. Since April 2013, Bill has been cooking regularly for the station’s active duty and Reserve shipmates. Ultimately, Bill was asked to chef on the USCGC Valiant and he completed a little more than a two month tour that included passage through the Panama Canal. I am very proud of Bill’s accomplishments, and I’m confident he has found a home with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. I have included Bill’s story in his own words on the next page. ;



Summer 2016

Valiant Underway Bill Dyda AUX-FS, Flotilla 20-10


pril of 2013 was a great month for me as a Coast Guard Auxiliarist, as I finished an AuxChef class and was presented with my certification. I now could officially offer my services as an AuxChef to a local station and begin the task of cooking for a group of men and women, serving my country in this small capacity.

As I began the mission, it was wonderful to become part of a team. We worked to prepare meals for special events, and at the station. It requires a lot of work in the galley to keep our men and women fit and ready for duty! In the back of my mind, I envisioned one day serving aboard a Coast Guard cutter as a cook. That would allow me to experience being part of a crew and participate in the day-to-day activities of shipboard life. I served regularly as the Sunday and Monday chef at Station Belle USCGC Valiant (WMEC-621) Isle from April of 2013 until the summer of 2015, when Characteristics the opportunity to serve aboard ship finally arrived. The station started receiving email requests for chefs aboard patrol vessels sailing out of east coast ports.

Class & type:

Medium-endurance cutter, Active-class


American Ship Building Company, Lorain, Ohio


3 November 1967

Home port:

Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, FL


759 tons


210΄ 6"




10΄ 6"


Twin V16 2,550 hp (1,902 kW) ALCO diesel engines


14 knots cruising, 20 knots maximum


6,100 nautical miles


12 officers, 63 enlisted


1 × 23-foot Over-the-horizon (OTH) Interceptor 1 × 24-foot Cutter Boat, Large 1 × Mk 38 25 mm machine gun 2 × M2HB .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns 2 x M240 7.62 mm machine guns


Aircraft carried:

HH-65 Dolphin

Valiant statistics, Wikipedia, “USCGC Valiant (WMEC-621)” Valiant model photo by Thom Brennan, Flotilla 22-05


When the opportunity presented itself and the dates were appropriate, I volunteered for duty aboard an active duty Coast Guard cutter. My dream was finally realized when LCDR Chung contacted me from USCGC Valiant (WMEC-621), out of Mayport, Florida. After providing my qualifications and answering a set of questions, I was asked to join the crew. While I went through the process of securing things at home and notifying people of my pending departure, I could not believe the number of well-wishes and the help I received to get underway on Valiant. The Station Belle Isle personnel were great, helping me prepare to go to sea and helping me make lists of what to take along; personal items, as well as things I would need for my duties. I reported in at Mayport on September 16, 2015 for an eight-week patrol. When I reported for duty, I was immediately welcomed by the officers and staff of Valiant. We were shorthanded by two chefs so my presence was very welcome. FS1 Mogan took command of the galley and asked what shift I wanted. Being a morning person, I asked to be assigned to the morning shift, which started every day at 0530. We began by serving breakfast, then assisted with lunch, prepared a salad bar for dinner and helped serve at dinner. We worked twelve-hour days every day, but found it was better to be busy than to have down time and try to find something to do. FS2 Laday taught me a lot of tips about cooking for a large group of personnel. We came up with sauces and dishes


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that we worked on together that tasted good and were enjoyed by the crew. These two Food Service Specialists were so nice to work with and helped fulfill our mission as cooks for the Valiant. Eight weeks might seem like a long time. Well, it was… having never been to sea before. Ultimately, this mission was very successful and under the leadership of CAPT Chamie, our spirits were high. He complimented each department’s personnel many times for their dedication to duty and for the success of the patrol. Overall, this successful mission took a very large amount of cocaine off the market with an estimated street value of well over $116 million dollars. This was but one action in the War on Drugs, with the men and women of the United States Coast Guard doing their job to see that this dangerous drug never reaches our shores. When I left Valiant, I was asked to speak to the crew about my time aboard ship, and about the sea stories I had to tell Auxiliarists and friends back home. I told them my sea stories were plentiful, but what I really wanted to tell everyone about was the 85 wonderful officers and crew of the Valiant. Their dedication to duty, the honor they showed to their country and the respect they showed me and everyone on board— those were the stories I wanted to bring back home. I ended my stay aboard CGC Valiant on November 19th, to return from Florida to the cold north. Two days after returning home, 4 to 6 inches of snow fell as a welcome home present. I hope to again serve on a patrol, if not with CGC Valiant then any cutter or command that may need my help for any mission that may come along. ;

In the fall of 2015, Flotilla 20-10 (Warren, MI) member Bill Dyda traveled from his home in Royal Oak, Michigan, to Naval Station Mayport, located in Jacksonville, Florida, to serve aboard CGC Valiant as an AUX-FS. Dyda served aboard Valiant for a little over two months, returning home in November 2015. During his stay aboard, Valiant crossed the Caribbean Sea and transited the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean, where she and her crew participated in antidrug smuggling operations.



Summer 2016

Are You That Kind of Flotilla? Susan Thurlow District Captain-North


he date was November, 2015. We were new to Rockport, Texas, and the area. The plan was to spend the winter months down there. We knew no one and had no friends, but really liked the weather and the community’s feel. What to do?

I looked up the Rockport Flotilla Commander’s name in AuxDirectory and sent him an email. A nearly immediate reply came, asking us to meet for coffee or lunch. We met Syg and Mary Murphy the next day and learned about the local flotilla. The next meeting we would be in town for was the first Tuesday in February. To take the risk or not? Being a bit of an introvert, I had to convince myself to go into a room of strangers. I signed in and sat down. A few people said, “Hi.” Syg asked me to introduce myself and the meeting went forward. I learned that there was going to be a boat show and a beach clean-up at the National Seashore on Padre Island. When they asked who might be interested, I raised my hand and volunteered both Tom and me. Our first experience was at the boat show in Robstown, Texas. We met Auxiliarists from the Port Aransas and Corpus Christie flotillas at the show. One member, Paul, invited us to join him on a two-hour cruise on his boat. One week later, we were cruising up the Intracoastal Waterway with several other Auxiliarists. A beautiful day ended with dinner together. A short time later, we met four Auxiliarists who worked with us to pick up trash at the Padre Island National Seashore. On a breezy warm day, we worked together in our ODUs and answered lots of questions about the Auxiliary. We were invited back to the next flotilla meeting. No doubt—we would be there.

Are you that kind of flotilla? Members of three flotillas, including two from District 9CR, worked together to clean up the shoreline along Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, Texas, during the annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Cleanup. The event, sponsored by Friends of Padre, preserves the natural beauty of South Padre Island and its natural resources by cleaning the beaches of trash and debris, The group drove 16 miles down the beach, then cleaned up Mile 15-16 at this year's event. Left to right: Walter Lass, (Flotilla 081-07-09, Rockport, TX), Tom Thurlow (Flotilla 091-30-07, International Falls, MN), Louis Manganiello (Flotilla 081-07-04, San Antonio, TX), and Susan Thurlow (091-30-07, International Falls, MN). (Photo by an kindly passerby.)



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Our last activity was a parade in the town next door, Fulton, Texas, and then it was time to return home. We left our winter home with new friends, looking forward to Auxiliary activities next winter. The definition of a symbiotic relationship means that both parties benefit. Would your flotilla make it easy for Auxiliarists to join you from another part of the country? Would your flotilla benefit from the energy and ideas of members from other parts of the country? Are you that kind of flotilla? I hope so. ;

Oh, the Places We Have Gone Diane Campbell Division Commander, Division 22


n 1990, Dr Seuss wrote a book titled, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. While it is done in Seuss’s style with cartoon characters and rhyming verse, it is often given as a gift to graduates of high school or college. When I think back over the past few months… oh, the places Division 22 has gone, the sights we have seen, and the awards we have won… this book comes to mind. It’s not always easy. Sometimes the uniforms get really hot. Sometimes the hours are long. And NO, not another test. Not another report. Not another meeting. But for those who persevere: Oh, the places you can go You have a brain in your head You have feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose. —Dr. Seuss

For those Auxiliarists who had an interest in technology, graphic design, newsletters, publications, power point constructions… oh, the pieces they created! Others enjoyed meeting people: Public Affairs booths, boat shows, parades, vessel safety checks, conferences, working with other civic groups. Oh, the people we met! Ten even joined the Auxiliary. Some chose to be instructors. Safe boating classes were taught for those who have big boats, small boats, or paddle boats. Instruction was given for those on the small lakes and the Great Lakes. Other instructors taught classes on marine safety and environmental protection to the young and old(er) alike. Oh, the classes we taught! Boat crews traveled far and wide, patrolling the waters of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River or Lake Charlevoix and many others. See the fireworks, set up the safety zones, watch the regattas, escort the firework barges and Tall Ships, or watch the air show. Thanks to all those who took us aboard. Oh, the fun we had during those 300+ hours! Vessel safety checks are nearing the 1,000 mark, held from Petoskey to Fort Wayne and anywhere in between where we can find a boat. Oh, the people we met and the boats we saw! Leadership Service on National, District, Division, and Flotilla levels: The training we have taken and the training we have given. Oh, the personal growth we have seen!



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Division 22 Activities L: Escorting tall ships at Bay City R: Auxiliarists teaching Auxiliarists during Boat Crew Training in Charlevoix, MI

L: Flotilla 22-06’s (Lansing) information booth at the film, The Finest Hours R: Maintaining a security zone at Bay City during the Tall Ships Festival

L: Rio Annis (Flotilla 22-06) teaches boating safety to a group of Scouts R: Sea Partners class at the Detroit River Festival

L: Auxiliary color guard at a Fort Wayne Tin Caps baseball game R: Vessel safety checks in Indiana

L: Vessel safety checks on Torch Lake, MI R: The Blue Angels over Traverse Bay


Photos this page by Deb Kerr (22 -04), Jonathan Ahlbrand, Rio Annis, James Robertson, and unknown (all 22-06)


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There are other directions Division 22 Auxiliarists have taken: communications, fingerprint technician, supporting the Coast Guard Academy through the Academy Admissions Partner and AIM programs, watch-standing, food service, and so many more. Put these all together and you have Division 22. Each year Rob Kerr of Flotilla 22-04 puts together a slide presentation of the year’s activities to show at their Change of Watch. It always amazes me the places we have gone and the things we have done. Wouldn’t it be great to have this in book form, so the next time someone asks what we do in the Auxiliary, we can say, “Let me show you….” ;

Seasons Change, and So Should You Catherine Slabaugh District Captain-South


ure as the seasons change from winter to spring, and now into summer, our Auxiliary involvement changes. Summer is prime time for operations, vessels exams, marine safety and public affairs. For staff and elected officers, your leadership style should have seasons, too. With different projects, groups or individuals, our leadership style should flow within a continuum.

Boss-centered You make the decisions and announce it. You make the decision, and get “buy-in” from the others by explaining the benefits of the decision to the others. You make the decision, and explain how you came to it. You invite others to ask questions about the process. You come up with your own solution and talk it over with the group, but you make the final decision.

On one end we behave with absolute authority. We make decisions ourselves and announce it to the rest of our team. The group has no say in the decision. On the other end of the continuum, we give others complete freedom to make decisions and work things out themselves. They identify issues, decide on a course of action, and implement it. In order to be a good leader, we should be well practiced in being able to move within this continuum. That is how we help others grow. Tannenbaum and Schmidt gave a name to the leadership structure I am talking about. At left is the full list of stops within their continuum.

You present the problem to the group and define the parameters for a solution. The group comes up with the solution.

Can you identify some of your own leadership actions with this list? It is not a matter of one level being better than another. Different situations will require different styles. Being aware of this menu of options should help us all as leaders be the best we can in a given situation. Being aware of the options is a good place to start.

The team identifies the issues to be dealt with, develops possible solutions, and decides on final action. You state in advance that you will support the decision of the group.

For more information, Google “Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s Leadership Continuum.” ;

You present the problem to the group, offer options, and discuss. You make the decision after discussion.




Summer 2016

District 9CR Air Operations Jeffrey Kyff District Staff Officer, Aviation


istrict 9CR aviators have been busy flying in support of both Air Station Detroit and Air Station Traverse City. We’ve conducted our usual complement of missions, including Maritime Observation, Transport, Photo, Logistics, as well as Operational Support missions, including “First Light” flights throughout the District. Emphasis has been placed on photographing and reporting on ice conditions. Recent overflights of the grounded freighter Roger Blough at Sault St. Marie during the Memorial Day weekend reduced the need for Air Station Traverse City (ASTC) assets by three helicopters and their associated crews, increasing their availability for search and rescue activities. Aux Air overflights continued into the following week, with a total of seven Auxiliary aircraft being assigned in support. Aviation requires highly trained and skilled personnel. Without constant effort and training, those skills erode quickly and we in Aux Aviation put a great deal of effort into staying safe and at the top of our game. We strive to be “Semper Paratus,” Always Ready. A program of pilot proficiency training has been implemented for both Air Station Traverse City and Air Station Detroit auxiliary pilots. Pilots are expected to pick an item from a list of suggested maneuvers to practice sometime during their scheduled flights. This may range from basic airmanship skills to search patterns. Each air station keeps track of those items and the proficiency of the pilots flying for them. Training events during the past year included:

GROS CAP REEF, WHITEFISH BAY, LAKE SUPERIOR—U.S. Coast Guard craft deploy some 6,000 feet of surface skimming booms to contain possible oil spillage from the grounded freighter MV Roger Blough. The 858-foot Blough was loaded with iron ore pellets and headed down the lake from the twin ports of Duluth/ Superior to Conneaut, Ohio, when she ran hard aground on the reef. The accident occurred shortly after noon on May 27, about 10 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie. District 9CR aircraft flew missions in support of Coast Guard operations. The ship was successfully refloated on June 6, and is currently undergoing repairs. (Photo by Aux Air Crew Dianne Walker, Flotilla 26-10)



Summer 2016

April 2015 Aviation Safety workshop at the Spring D-Train 6/3/15 Search and rescue exercise (SAREX) at Air Station Traverse City (ASTC) 9/12/15 workshop at Fall Conference (AUX !7) 9/21/15 SAREX at ASTC 2/1/16 Aviation Safety workshop at ASTC 3/17/16 Aviation Safety Workshop Duluth 4/2/16 Aviation Safety Workshop at Novi Spring D-Train 5/16/16 SAREX at ASTC 5/18 Swim Qualifications 5/21 WET Drill (Conducted by the air station where all personnel participate in various drills from swimming and entering a life raft to the use of flares and land survival skills) 6/11 Safety Round Up at ASTC Aux 17 C-School to be taught in 9WR this fall by 9CR faculty. We are developing a safety workshop to be offered at the Fall D-Train at Shanty Creek.

This represents a savings to the Coast Guard of $7,092,585 over these same missions being flown by helicopters.

From June of 2015 to June of 2016, 9CR Aux Air has flown 277 missions for 934.9 flight hours. This represents a savings to the Coast Guard and the people of the United States of at least $7,092,585 over these same missions being flown by active duty MH-65 Dolphin helicopters. In the first five months of calendar year 2016, 117 missions for ASTC were canceled almost exclusively due to weather, primarily in northern Michigan. This is an important number because it represents many hours of preparation by Auxiliarists that do not show up in the aviation statistics. I would argue that more hours are spent preparing for flights that are canceled than for those that are actually flown. Our missions require us to be able to see the shorelines, critical infrastructure and boat traffic, so when ceilings (height of clouds above the ground) are less than 1,000 feet or the visibility is below three miles, we do not fly. The presence of thunderstorms or inflight icing conditions also represents a serious threat to our safety and we will not fly under those conditions, either. Experience and training are relied upon to make those “go, no go” decisions. Just as in boating, pilots will begin following the weather conditions days in advance of a scheduled flight in order make that final decision about flying on the day of the assigned mission. Safety is always the primary consideration. District 9 CR aviation personnel consist of the following positions. Each position has its own requirements for licensing, experience levels, qualifications and corresponding level of responsibility. 15 Aircraft Commanders 5 First Pilots 1 Copilot 10 Air Crew 12 Observers 3 Instructor Pilots/Pilot examiners District Aux Air currently lists 16 aircraft facilities, with two more expected to be approved in the next few months, and 43 aviation personnel, consisting of 20 pilots and 22 observers and air crew. Aircraft crew requirements call for both a pilot and an air crew or observer (sometimes both) for almost all types of missions. Some missions require two pilots. Our facilities and personnel are based in locations from



Summer 2016

Toledo, Ohio, to Duluth, Minnesota. This allows us to handle missions on very short notice in any part of District 9 Central Region. Aux Air missions often result in significant time, manpower and money savings to the Coast Guard and American tax-payers. We, like you, are truly force multipliers. ;

My Time aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca Evan Robertson AUX-FS, Flotilla 22-06


rom 11 April to 18 June, I was an AUX-FS (Auxiliary Food Services Specialist) aboard USCGC Seneca in place of an active duty FS who was not present for the patrol. The patrol began with two weeks left of my spring semester at Michigan State University. I placed my schooling on hold when I was contacted about this opportunity, as this was a once in a lifetime chance as an Auxiliarist. Another reason for accepting this mission was that when I am finished with college in December of 2016, I will be going active duty Coast Guard. What better way to learn about all the different rates than to go on a cutter? My first day in Boston was spent assisting with the loading of provisions for the upcoming deployment. The FS1 (Food Services Specialist 1) and I brought the food to the reefers and dry storage areas, then sorted them all out and took an inventory of all items. Afterwards, I began helping with the first meals while underway. I was placed on the salad bar until the FS staff thought I was good enough to begin working on the main meal.

ABOARD USCGC SENECA, April 28, 2016—Evan Robertson takes a break from his food services duties. Robertson served on Seneca from April 11 until June 18. (Photo by CWO Gary Miller)

Cooking underway takes some getting used to; not only did you have to get acquainted with a new galley and where/how they want things done, but you also have to get used to not staying in one plane of motion. When you are chopping, you can only do a small amount at a time, and then put it in the proper container, because the ship is rolling. You have to be careful that all that work done chopping doesn’t wind up being for naught because it ended up on the deck.

After doing salad for a couple of weeks, I was allowed to begin helping with the main course entrées. I was super excited about this, because this is what I love to do; cook and make people happy. When making main entrées, it is a big test of your culinary abilities. The menu might say you are serving a certain meal, but if we don’t have those specific ingredients or we don’t have a lot of the spices needed, you might have to use your skills to improvise and make the dish taste good. At this point we arrived at the Panama Canal. Going through the canal was one of the coolest things I have ever done, not only because it is one of the wonders of the world, but because my grandmother’s father helped build it. It takes a surprisingly long amount of time to get through the canal, around 16 hours, so during this time we kept a constant supply of snacks and drinks to help keep everyone awake. Once



Summer 2016

through, we had a couple of days in port to enjoy some free time, then it was underway again and on to the Pacific Ocean. The days began to get long and sleep periods were few and far between. Once we reached our patrol area, we encountered some boats that were running drugs. We proceeded to board them, confiscate the drugs and then detain the drug runners themselves. They were brought USCGC Seneca (WMEC-906) on board to allow us to continue with our mission and Characteristics bring them back to the U.S. to stand trial for drug trafficking. When we had detainees on board, I was responsible for taking care of their food and water needs. We also came across fishermen who had been adrift in the ocean for two months (according to their accounts). In total, I was responsible for 50 detainees. Class & type: Medium-endurance cutter, Famous-class Builder:

Robert Derecktor Shipyard Incorporated, Middletown, Rhode Island


9 May 1987

Home port:

Boston, MA


1,829 tons








Twin turbo-charged ALCO V-18 diesel engines


19.5 knots


9,900 nautical miles


14 officers, 86 enlisted

Boats carried:

1 × over-the-horizon (OTH) Interceptor 1 × rigid hull inflatable (RHI) with twin 90 HP outboard engines

During our time in the Pacific, there were many times that we did drills, set the helo up for operations and, of course, launched the small boat to intercept vessels that were suspected of being a smugglers’ boat. When you are a cook on a ship, you are assigned to be an assistant to the health services technician aboard the cutter. This was especially exciting for me as I had the chance to learn a lot of great first-aid techniques. After our time in the Pacific was complete, we went back through the canal and had a final port call in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This was the best port call. Who would ever think that they would have the chance to go to not only Cuba, but to GTMO? Finally, we came back to Boston, and then a few days later I came back to my home, Lansing.

I wouldn’t trade my time aboard the Seneca for anything in the world; it was the best 68 days of my life. I felt like I was part of the crew and I participated in all aspects of the crew’s life. I made some of the greatest friends Armament: 1 × Mk 75 76 mm/62 caliber naval gun 2 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns while on board, and I loved every minute of it. I think we sometimes don’t realize how much of an impact we Aircraft carried: HH-65 Dolphin, have on the crews. While I was on board, many of the HH-60 Jayhawk, men and women were interested in hearing about my MH-68 Stingray life and what is going on. I was the new person they had never talked to before, and I also was able to provide my fresh insight, opinions, and views to command, providing an “outside lens.” This is something that is Seneca statistics, USCG Seneca model photo by Thom Brennan, Flotilla 22-05 important in any aspect of life. Even if you can’t provide operational help at a small boat station or on a cutter, you can still take the opportunity to talk with these kids, because at the end of the day, their average age is only 24 years old. Fair Seas and Following Winds. ;



Operations in District 9 CR

An Auxiliary patrol on a northern waters inland lake on June 5 (Photo by Eloyse Hill, Flotilla 30-04)

Aux Air Facility on display at Air Station Traverse City (Photo by Randy Lawton, Flotilla 26-10)

Rendezvous on Lake Huron: an Auxiliary facility meets a CG Defender RBS during Division 26 Boat School at Station St. Ignace (Photo by Larry Ferguson, Flotilla 26-08)

A facility owned by Susan & Donna Warren (Flotilla 26-01) performs training maneuvers near by one owned by Mark Smathers (Flotilla 26-10) during Division 26 Boat School, held at Station St. Ignace


Summer 2016


Summer 2016

Proposed museum concept by PAYETTE and Gauchet/Santosby

The National Coast Guard Museum Since its beginnings as the Revenue Marine in 1790, the Coast Guard has established a proud and illustrious history which deserves recognition from the public. This history is unknown to much of the American public. The Coast Guard Museum Association is currently raising the funds necessary to build the National Coast Guard Museum in downtown New London, Connecticut, along the Thames River. The museum is being constructed with the full participation of the United States Coast Guard. When completed, the museum’s four floors of exhibits and displays will tell the story of the Coast Guard’s past, present and future. In nautical terms, a Plankowner is any individual who served as a member of the original crew comprised to build and commission a new vessel. The origin of the phrase denotes that this individual was actively engaged when the ship was being constructed, and served in the unit when fully commissioned and placed into service. As a member of the original crew, an individual earns the enduring title, “Plankowner.” Consistent with this maritime tradition, the National Coast Guard Museum Association is proud to offer its supporters an opportunity to be a National Coast Guard Museum Plankowner. You simply need to establish a monthly donation of an amount you feel appropriate, and maintain this support of the project through commissioning. For more information, visit


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