Coast Guard Base Ketchikan holds community open house

KETCHIKAN, Alaska - Ketchikan residents pose for a photo in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon during Coast Guard Base Ketchikan's first ever open house Aug. 27, 2011. The base hosted more than 200 Ketchikan residents during the open house, which included tours of two Coast Guard cutters, emergency medical treatment, oil pollution recovery, law enforcement and search and rescue demonstrations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley

Ketchikan, Alaska, known as Alaska’s first city, recently was the site of the first ever open house held at Coast Guard Base Ketchikan Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.

On what turned into a bright sunny day, Coast Guard active duty, reserve and Auxiliary members welcomed Ketchikan residents onto the base to take tours of the Coast Guard Cutters Naushon and Anthony Petit.  Residents were also able to view demonstrations in emergency medical treatment, oil pollution recovery, law enforcement and an airborne search and rescue demonstration by an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew.

KETCHIKAN, Alaska - Station Ketchikan crewmember Petty Officer 2nd Class Seth Brown watches as fellow crewmember Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Colvin discusses the capabilities of the 47-foot Motor Life Boat with Ketchikan residents during a base open house Aug. 27, 2011. Ketchikan residents were able to tour the stations MLB as part of the base's community outreach effort to foster better understanding and friendship with the residents of Ketchikan. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley

“We decided to hold an open house to welcome the public and locals.  To have them get the chance to come down (to the base) and to see what the Coast Guard does here in Ketchikan,” said Cmdr. Wade Gesele, Base Ketchikan commanding officer.The open house kicked off promptly at 11 a.m. with people actually lining up at the gates.  As families and individuals arrived at the main gate, they were greeted, given a voucher for a free hotdog and soda and a map of the base showing where the displays were.

The men and women of the base saw a steady stream of inquisitive people asking questions, eating lunch and taking tours of the small boats and cutters located at the base.

“Everyone has appreciated being able to be on the base,” said Lt. j.g. Tara Schendorf, the Naushon’s executive officer.  “The Coast Guard is a big part of the community, so they enjoy being able to visit here.”

More than 200 residents visited the base during the two and a half hour open house, with many lining the pier for the 1 p.m. search and rescue display by Air Station Sitka.

“I think that we had a great turnout!  The weather cooperated, which is always nice,” said Gesele.  “This is something that we are going to try to do annually.  As people talk about the event we anticipate the open house attendance to grow.”

“The people of Ketchikan know who we are and an event like this allows us to help build good relations,” said Schendorf.  “Continuing to do this is a nice way to let people see who we are and what we do for them and the community.”

KETCHIKAN, Alaska - Ketchikan residents line the waterfront to watch as an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew performs a search and rescue demonstration during Coast Guard Base Ketchikan's first ever open house Aug. 27, 2011. The helicopter crew provided a search and rescue demonstration as part of the open house as part of a community outreach effort to foster better understanding and friendship with the residents of Ketchikan. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Ketchikan

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