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Flotilla 054-03-03
 Kilmarnock, Virginia

 

 

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RAPPAHANNOCK "10" ACCIDENT - 05JUL10

 

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NEWS ARTICLE ARCHIVE

 

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FLOTILLA 33 MEMBER ASSISTS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COAST GUARD 15 TO 22AUG10

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BRIAN MCARDLE TRAVELS TO TRINIDAD.

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(L TO R) LT SCOTT PARKHURST, U.S. COAST GUARD, CDR GREGORY WOLCOTT, TRINIDAD COAST GUARD, BRIAN MCARDLE (FLOTILLA 33) & JOHN COOPER, U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY.

PRESS RELEASE

It was a warm day at Trinidad’s Coast Guard Headquarters. A gathering of Coast Guard senior officers and 25 civilians were meeting to discuss the formation of a Trinidadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.  What was a member of Kilmarnock’s Flotilla 33 doing there?

The Trinidad Coast Guard realized that they needed more eyes and ears around their island.  More drugs were coming into their country, the scope of their mission was broadening, there was a real need for a Recreational Boating Safety Program and there were not enough assets and personnel to meet these challenges.

Commander Gregory Walcott, Executive Officer of the Trinidad Coast Guard, had heard, during interaction with the U.S. Coast Guard, of the Auxiliary and how they are a “Force Multiplier”.  Within two weeks after a formal request through the US Embassy, the Coast Guard’s Southern Command had a Coast Guard Officer and two Auxiliarists on their way to Trinidad to meet with Coast Guard Officials and interested civilians.  One of the three members of the team was from Flotilla 33.

“Over three days of meetings and presentations, we were able to provide a lot of information on how the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is a member of Team Coast Guard,” commented Brian McArdle, a member of Flotilla 33.  “We were very impressed by the leadership and organization of the Trinidad Coast Guard, but like everywhere else, they are being asked to take on more responsibility without an increase in personnel. I think they took the right step and reached out to a successful organization like the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, which learned a lot in its 70 years of growth.”

Within a week, Commander Wolcott met with a small committee of civilian volunteers and two attorneys from Ministry Offices to help draw up a proposal for a Trinidad Coast Guard Auxiliary.  They are also intending to get a number of boating laws changed for the better safety of its citizens.

“It was an interesting experience,” continued McArdle.  “Not only are we helping a country with close  ties to the US, but our own Coast Guard benefits by having more “eyes and ears” in the area.  The U.S. Coast Guard does assist in Search and Rescue (SAR) cases in the area, but with additional qualified personnel in Trinidad, that will take some pressure off of US assets.

 

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