November is the Month of the Military Family in which we honor the families that support our troops. In the Coast Guard, a select few military spouses volunteer as ombudsmen to provide knowledge of work life services and referrals for specific services such as doctor referrals, schools, and education and employment opportunities.
A stint in Alaska is like a rite of passage for many Coast Guard members and one of the latest to experience its challenges is Petty Officer 3rd Class Victor De La Mora, a food service specialist aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, homeported in Homer.
Cooking in a galley can present its challenges. Deciding each recipe to make with the ingredients at hand, prepping numerous components and eventually preparing the actual meal three times a day, there’s a lot that goes into the final product. Now imagine doing all of that in 15-foot seas.
If there’s one misconception that exists about the Coast Guard’s food service specialists, it’s probably that their only responsibilities are in the galley, cooking. For Petty Officer 1st Class Sammy Paone, the special command aide at Coast Guard 17th District in Juneau, Alaska, firing up the range to make homemade meals is only a fragment of his overall job.
One crewmember aboard Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur, a 110-foot Island Class patrol boat homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, is food specialist Aaron Anderson. Anderson shares his favorite recipe and what it takes to be a successful chef in the Coast Guard.
With Alaskan waters bordering Canada in both the north and south, it’s no surprise that the U.S. and Canadian coast guards work hand-in-hand, training together annually to respond to maritime emergencies. Unpredictable Arctic weather presents complex challenges, and both countries occasionally rely on one another to provide a helping hand.
All around the Coast Guard, RFO teams work with operational units to ensure standardization and that all crews are able to perform their missions safely. In Alaska, the harsh environment and limited infrastructure make readiness that much more critical to success.
It’s been said an army marches on its stomach, but the Coast Guard is no exception. Without nutritious food and stocked larders, Coast Guard crews would be unable to conduct operations while underway for extended periods of time, so it’s up to food service specialists like Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Denton of the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang to make sure their shipmates are well fed and provisioned before heading out to sea.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Hickory returned to its homeport in Homer from a two week patrol to decommission the seasonal aids to navigation in the Kuskokwim River in Southwestern Alaska Oct. 16.
One of the newest crewmembers aboard Coast Guard Cutter Munro, a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, is food specialist Austin Reed. A recent graduate of the Coast Guard’s food service specialist “A” school, Reed is just finding out what it’s like to be part of a team aboard a Coast Guard cutter.