Sunday, September 28, 2008

Guest Blog Post - W. Allen Morris

JCOC-Report #4 (Joint Civilian Orientation Conference)

How do you follow something as dramatic as the USS Iwo Jima? We all thought a Coast Guard Cutter could not compare! It did!

I had lunch & dinner yesterday with Captain Bob Wagner of the USCG Cutter Dallas at the US Naval Base in Rota, Spain, near Gibraltar, headed back FROM 4 months in the Black Sea!

We actually have 6 US Coast Guard Cutters currently in the Persian Gulf tasked to the Navy, supporting our troops.

The 378ft USCGC Dallas was loaded with Humanitarian Relief Supplies for Georgia. The first time a US War Ship has ever visited some of these ports in Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey & Ukraine. Many of these countries are anxious to qualify for membership in NATO and the people Love America, especially after generations of Soviet domination!

They also visited ports training local Coast Guards/Navys in the Gulf of Guinea, an area on the west coast of Africa, where countries are asking for help to protect their Maritime borders against massive oil theft and active piracy.

They have been the visible presence of The United States in a very positive way promoting good will & teaching Maritime Law Enforcement in these important places.

We all felt this was every bit as important, though very different, than the combat capabilities of The Iwo Jima.

I especially liked driving their high speed (50mph), inflatable, long range, 5-man, intercept boat OTH (Over the Horizon)! And handling their 25 Caliber machine gun & 50mm guns used to shoot out the engines of belligerent ships!

I do always love the toys! (0;

#1. The US Coast Guard, with it's 252 Cutters, would make it the 7th Largest Navy in the World!

#2. 18% of America's oil comes from the Gulf of Guinea!! Seriously Important! Go look at your map!

#3. Average Age on the Cutter Dallas...23 years old! Wow!

More tomorrow from Mildenhall Air Force Base in England!!!


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