Coast Guard hosts Alaska Army Nation Guard in Kodiak, Alaska


Personnel from the Alaska Army National Guard, 38th Troop Command, take a group photo on the fantail of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley in Kodiak, Alaska, Oct. 25, 2012. The Alaska Army Nation Guard members visited the cutter and learned about the important roles it plays in Alaska, to include law enforcement, living marine resource patrols and search and rescue. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Story by Ensign Victoria Stockton

Coast Guard personnel recently hosted members from the Alaska Army National Guard and representatives from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage during a tour of the units and facilities in Kodiak, Alaska, Thursday

The tour included Base Kodiak, Air Station Kodiak, the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, and Communications Station Kodiak.

“This visit is about building relationships,” said Col. Hunt W. Kerrigan, commander of the 38th Troop Command and deputy director joint staff of the Alaska Army National Guard.

The tour, which was arranged by Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, was geared towards fostering education and understanding between the two services.

“Coordinating this tour between the Alaska Army National Guard and Coast Guard was a great opportunity for two agencies who work so closely together to better understand each other’s roles and capabilities” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, “Even more importantly, it was about building respect and long-lasting friendships that will help our agencies better serve the people of Alaska.”

After arriving in Kodiak aboard a National Guard C-23 Sherpa airplane, the guests were greeted by Capt. Melissa Rivera, commanding officer, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, and Cmdr. Mark Vislay, operations officer, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, and Cmdr. Patrick McElligatt, executive officer, Coast Guard Base Kodiak.

The group’s visit started with a briefing about Coast Guard units, capabilities and operations conducted from Kodiak. Following the briefing the group was given tours of the Air Station and the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley. While aboard the cutter they watched a search and rescue demonstration conducted by an Air Station MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew in Womens Bay.

The group’s visit was then closed out with lunch at the Base Kodiak galley and a tour of Communications Station Kodiak, where members learned about the unit’s history and communications capabilities.

For many of Kerrigan’s group, this was their first time on a Coast Guard base, and their first opportunity to witness the major elements of Coast Guard operations.

“We were greatly impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the Coast Guardsmen,” said Kerrigan, “The Alex Haley’s motto, ‘Find the good and praise it’ resonated strongly with us.”