August 31, 2015
On August 14, 2015, a group of JINSA Leaders visited the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Staten Island, New York. The visit was arranged by JINSA Advisor Rear Admiral Bill Merlin, USCG (Ret.). He also accompanied the group and provided significant expertise. The visit started with a briefing by base officers Captain Morkan and Lieutenant Brooks on the operations of the Coast Guard. This military branch covers much more than they did while under the Department of the Treasury. Today, they cover security on the water, counter terrorism, drug trafficking, marine environmental protection, and weather disasters.
JINSA leaders were able to enjoy lunch with Captain Morkan, several Lieutenants, and other members of the base. It was a great opportunity to hear about the base and their day-to-day duties. After lunch, JINSA leaders were given a fascinating tour of the Sector Command Center/Vessel traffic service, which controls large ship traffic in New York Harbor.
Finally, JINSA Leaders had the rare opportunity to spend time out on the water to see the Coast Guard in action. It was quite an experience to see how NY harbor is controlled on a federal level by the Coast Guard and also in good cooperation with the NY Police Department and NY Fire Department.
The visit enabled JINSA leaders to witness first-hand how the Coast Guard accomplishes its broad mission with limited finances and manpower. Thanks to their volunteer auxiliary, the Coast Guard is able to have eyes and ears on the water far beyond their current resources. JINSA leaders left the base with a new found interest in the Coast Guard and its vital U.S. national security mission. According to JINSA Executive Committee member Joel Sprayregen, who attended the visit, "The Coast Guard base visit was greatly informative for JINSA Leaders. It was an opportunity for JINSA to learn more about how this branch of the military contributes to national security on a daily basis. We also had the opportunity to explain to the Coast Guard how JINSA advocates for a strong U.S. military."
If you would like to participate in a future JINSA leadership base visit please contact Harris Vederman at 202-667-3900 Hvederman@jinsa.org.