>A message from Sector Juneau Commander


It’s the heat of summer (finally), and you all are on the move!  These past few months have been incredibly busy and productive.  Each of you have made significant contributions to the Auxiliary, the Coast Guard, and your communities.  I want to highlight some of your accomplishments. 

You conducted 220 Vessel Safety Checks on recreational vessels, providing 243 hours of one-on-one discussion of safe boating practices with boat owners.  In addition, you visited 40 marine dealers/boating equipment stores to discuss safety equipment requirements and provide a display unit stocked with boating safety information for customers.  I loved the Vessel Safety Check Drive Thru days at Western Auto in Juneau – what a smart idea.  One of our Auxiliary Commercial Fishing Vessel Examiners (Brad Wells in Petersburg, I’m calling you out) personally conducted 67 CVF exams this year – Wow!  2 more of you are working toward your CFVE qualifications.  You’ve conducted 4 UPV exams so far, and I understand that 4 more members are actively working on your UPVE qualification.  Please keep up on those – you are a huge force multiplier for the Sector! 

The Petersburg Flotilla has performed more than 90 hours of patrols on the Safeboat, and other Division 1 Auxiliary OPFACs have completed almost 100 patrol hours so far this season.  These patrols have run the gamut from the routine maritime observation mission or training support for Coast Guard units, to more unusual missions such as a safety patrol for a swim across Clarence Strait, a safety patrol for marine mammal disentanglement training, and transport and berthing for a training event in a remote community.   In addition, you conducted safety zone patrols for the Princess Kathleen response and the 4th of July Fireworks displays.

Many of you provided support in other areas – 252 hours to Coast Guard Response and Prevention programs!  This ranged from the Cell Phones to Soldiers Program in Ketchikan, MISLE data entry, to chart updating and ICS Documentation unit support in the Princess Kathleen response (71 hours).  In fact, we relied very heavily on you in Princess Kathleen, and I’m personally very appreciative of your assistance in our Command Post, as well as on the water.  In addition, you volunteered over 2100 hours to study, travel time, flotilla management, and other activities vital to performing Auxiliary service.  And that’s just what’s been entered in AuxData so far!

I often see you at Public Affairs events – staffing booths, training, and interacting with the public at boat shows, health fairs, outdoor expos, fishing derbies, and fairs/festivals.  Whether you are maintaining Kids Don’t Float life jacket stations, conducting ad campaigns for safe boating, or making presentations to diverse groups from Rotaries and Chamber of Commerce to 4H groups, you definitely promote the safe boating message and the Coast Guard in a very professional and friendly manner.  This past weekend, you participated in 4th of July holiday parades as participants (in Juneau) and judges (in Petersburg).  Great job!

In the vital mission of Public Education, the southeast flotillas have conducted several well-attended courses including a 14-session Boating Skills and Seamanship course, three 8-hour America Boats Safely courses, 4 Suddenly in Command Courses, and one 4 hour Navigation course.  Going beyond the traditional education to the boating public, you undertook two special projects to provide training to other governmental organizations:  the Sitka Flotilla provided 20 hours of boating safety training to 14 Forest Service boat operators, and the Juneau Flotilla teamed with the Sector Command Center to provide 8 hours of boating safety and SAR training to the Village of Angoon.  I’m particularly pleased with the response from the Angoon Village.  That went exceptionally well, and I am hoping we can replicate in other native communities who have an interest in enhancing their SAR/communications.

Each flotilla has also been active internally, increasing membership by 12, and conducting numerous training sessions including two 6 week Advanced Coastal Navigation courses and a weekend of classroom and on water training for Division personnel.  Please continue recruiting.  We want more of you!!

As I travel through the Sector’s AOR, I’ll continue to meet with you personally – preferably over a relaxing dinner… but I also love to see your facilities if you want to show them off.  For those of you who haven’t met Chief Rob Canepa, you soon will.  He’s the new “Rob,” and he is very excited to work with you.  Chief Rob Lepere is now at his new station in North Carolina, and is eager to meet your counterparts on the east coast.

You have all seen the tragic news on the Sitka loss of life.  For the folks in the area, you may know the individuals involved, which makes it even more difficult.  Whether or not you know them personally, you are welcome to express your support to their families and friends through this tribute blog.  I’m sure they will appreciate your sentiments at this terrible time.


I hate to end on a sad note, because I really just wanted to thank and congratulate you for your tremendous and selfless service!  I couldn’t be more proud — BZ Division 1!

Captain Melissa Bert
U.S. Coast Guard
Commander, Sector Juneau
“Coastal Guardians of the Inside Passage”