Reservist

ISS1 2018

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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G reetings once again from PACAREA. The beginning of a new year comes with reflection on the year that has now passed. Let me start by reminding you of our purpose as reservists, which can be found on the CG-131 website: "Provide the Coast Guard a Ready Reserve Force that embodies the competencies necessary to perform Maritime Homeland Security, Domestic and Expeditionary Support to National Defense, and Response to Domestic Disasters, both natural and man-made…" Last year we lived up to that statement once again. Coast Guard reservists continued to have a footprint both domestically and abroad. On the expeditionary side, reservists maintained a sustained presence in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Port Security Unit members participated in the Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore (CJLOTS) exercise, held in the Republic of Korea with both U.S. and foreign military forces. Additionally, there are Coast Guard reservists embedded within the Navy CORIVRON (Coastal Riverine Squadron) and CORIVGRU (Coastal Riverine Group) communities, several of whom are routinely deployed to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. Domestically, over 1,300 Coast Guard reservists answered the call to mobilize for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Now some are volunteering to extend their orders or return on ADOS. I mobilized at the end of September, not as a command master chief, but as an electrician's mate. As I'm sure you are keenly aware, Puerto Rico was especially hard hit with regard to infrastructure, particularly electrical power. Upon my arrival at the Air Station Borinquen Facilities Engineering Office, there was already a mix of local and deployed active, Reserve, civilians and Auxiliarists busily working on the air station, the exchange and the housing complex. Power was being exclusively provided by generators with no timetable being given for the restoration of commercial power. Making the situation all the more difficult, the tap water was not drinkable. Coast Guard dependents had been evacuated to Florida prior to Hurricane Maria's arrival. Their return to Puerto Rico was tied to the restoration of commercial power and safe drinking water. The perimeter fences around the airfield and housing were damaged, making security a significant concern. Coast Guard personnel worked diligently to repair downed power lines and broken fencing, remove fallen trees and ruined furniture. Progress was clearly visible each day. Responding to a disaster of this proportion on an island presented several unique challenges. In addition to the lack of power, unsafe driving conditions, unreliable communication and scarcity of cash for transactions, the items critical for our response were in short supply; building material and machinery, such as generators, had to be brought in on barges. In spite of the challenges that made the day's work more difficult than it would have been on the mainland, I witnessed remarkable contributions from the members of our organization. They took care of the base and then went out into the communities several times a week to help take care of the citizens. People from all over the Coast Guard came together to do a difficult job, under extreme conditions, and they did it well. In closing, I'm back in Puerto Rico with a small team of reservists who share a construction background. We'll be helping to rebuild the infrastructure at Air Station Borinquen. While I understand that not all of the administrative and logistical aspects of these mobilizations have gone smoothly, you can be assured that our organization is continually striving to improve in these areas. There will be 'lessons learned' for future mobilizations. I want to sincerely thank you for your service to the Coast Guard and to our nation. Whether you were mobilized to respond to the hurricanes, remained to drill at your home unit, or you're serving halfway around the globe, you continued to represent the Coast Guard Reserve as professionals and patriots. I have seen firsthand all aspects of our organization come together to make a difference in people's lives, and ultimately, that is why we serve. Semper Paratus. Master Chief Petty Officer Andreas O. Apenburg Command Master Chief Pacific Area "People from all over the Coast Guard came together to do a difficult job, under extreme conditions, and they did it well. " Rese R vist Magazine d eckplate s oundings Issue 1 • 2018 � RESERVIST 7

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