When most people think of the Coast Guard, they think of cutters and helicopters saving peoples lives at sea. But the Coast Guard does way more than that. They maintain marine safety, provide and maintain aids to navigation like buoys, provide marine environmental response, break ice at the poles for shipping, provide PWCS (Ports and Waterways Coastal Security), conduct AMIO (Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations), stop drug smugglers, are ready to defend the U.S., and much more!
The USCGC Waesche
(these two photos courtesy of the USCG)
I got to hear it straight from two great sources: LCDR Tim Callister and LCDR David Potyok. They even took my dad and I on a tour of the latest and greatest Coast Guard cutter, the USCGC Waesche! May dad and I drove down to Coast Guard Island, near Alameda, and met Tim there. He told us about all the responsibilities United States Coast Guard has. Next, we met up with Dave Potyok and we all went on an awesome tour of the newest Coast Guard cutter, the USCGC Waesche with LT MacDonnell from the cutter.
The new 418 foot long Legend-class cutter Waesche was so cool. We stood on the flight deck and saw the two hangers, compatible with HH-65 Dolphin helicopters and even UAVs. Next, we went to the HCS (Helicopter Control Station) overlooking the flight deck. We even met Captain Kelly Hatfield, commanding officer of the Waesche! We went to the bridge and the engine room, too. Lastly, we went out on the bow of the Waesche and looked at the huge Bofors 57mm gun! LT MacDonnell did a great job showing us all around.
We had a great time at Coast Guard Island, and definitely hope to come back soon. I learned all about what the Coast Guard does, met some awesome people, and got to tour the USCGC Waesche! The United States coast Guard is a truly amazing branch of the military and I’m so glad I got to learn so much about it. Today was definitely not a wasted day!
Special thanks to LCDR David Potyok, LCDR Tim Callister, and LT MacDonnell for taking us on an amazing tour!