Reservist

ISS1 2019

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Superior Performance: Station Duluth's Reservists take on the busy summer season Story and photo submitted by Capt. Timothy Decker, District 9 Senior Reserve Of•cer About 40 miles from the Canadian border lies one of the Coast Guard's northernmost stations in the lower 48: Station North Superior, in Grand Marais, Minn. This seasonal station is on the western shores of Lake Superior and falls under the responsibility of Station Duluth. For the past five seasons, reservists from Station Duluth have played a critical role in staffing Station North Superior. The reservists provide boat crews that are boarding officer and boarding team member qualified, and they use their two weeks of active duty training to successfully carry out their assigned missions of search and rescue, law enforcement and homeland security in this sparsely populated area of Lake Superior. During my time as the senior reserve officer for Sector Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., I had the opportunity to travel to this furthest most unit within the Sector's area of responsibility, which was more than 600 miles away from the Sector itself. Station North Superior, established in 1938, covers Little Marais (about 13 miles south of the station) north to the international border. Among the area's numerous natural wonders, Isle Royale stands out as the largest and most well-known island in Lake Superior. Encompassing over 200 square miles, Isle Royale is a national park that draws thousands of visitors each year, and the crews of North Superior help ensure they safely transit to and from the island and its surrounding waters. During my visit, five reservists were in their second week of active duty and serving as the station's boat crew. The crew maintains a B-0 status and is ready to respond to any search and rescue cases that may arise in the area. This surge capacity relieves the active duty members so they can staff Station Lake of the Woods, also seasonal, on the Minnesota/Canadian border. Station personnel also work with other agencies including local and Canadian law enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and National Park Service. Boat crews participated in joint law enforcement operations as well as other joint agency training. The reserve personnel that serve at Station North Superior are dedicated to their mission. Master Chief Petty Officer Kyle Dupree, Station Duluth's officer-in-charge, recognized the critical role reservists play in the overall mission execution for the area. "Our reservists are extremely reliable and self-sufficient," said Dupree. "Their operational plan to support our missions could serve as a model for other units to follow. They are completely committed to meeting mission objectives and adapting to operational needs. Without their readiness, capabilities, and support, Station Duluth would not be able to accomplish other operational missions across the expanses of our area of responsibility." During the summer of 2018, the four reservist boat crews were responsible for just over 11% of all boardings (84 of the 737 boardings in FY18) completed by Station Duluth (the parent command of Station North Superior). The reserve members need to be ready for deployment when the call comes. As the Commandant's first guiding principle, I believe our reservists have proven they are ready for that call as evidenced by their ability to augment our active duty counterparts and help with the local missions and needs of the unit. I am very proud of the hard work they have put in to get us to where we are today. In this upcoming operational season, our four law enforcement capable all-reserve boat crews will be augmenting Station North Superior for 84 days of the 101 days it's open. During our underway time, the crew conducted six vessel compliance boardings. The patrol took us out to Isle Royale, which is nearly 50 nautical miles from Grand Marais, Minn. Upon entering the Washington Harbor, we examined the remains of the America, a 182-foot passenger and package freighter that sank in 1928 after hitting a rocky reef off Port (L to R) Senior Chief Petty Ofcer Brandon Kuske, Auxiliarist Donald Garvey, Chief Petty Ofcer Mark Mirsch, Petty Ofcer 1st Class Wade Carr, Petty Ofcer 2nd Class Paul Hill, and Petty Ofcer 2nd Class Joseph Keough, stand on the pier at Station Duluth during a break on operations. 18 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2019

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