Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell stretches sea legs in Alaska

Petty Officer Third Class Armando Hermosillo, an electronics technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, is cheered on by fans near the finish line of a five kilometer race in Adak, Alaska. Boutwell crewmembers organized the run to bolster community relations during a port call to the Aleutian town, the farthest west community in America. Courtesy photo by Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Armando Hermosillo, an electronics technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, is cheered on by fans near the finish line of a 5-kilometer race in Adak, Alaska, May 23, 2013. Boutwell crewmembers organized the run to bolster community relations during a port call to the Aleutian town, the farthest west community in America. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Eric Balcunas.

Story by Lt. j.g. Eric Balcunas

Crewmembers of the San Diego-based Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell ran a 5-kilometer race during a port call in Adak, Alaska, May 23, 2013.

The Boutwell crew organized the run to bolster community relations during a port call to the Aleutian town, and was greeted on the pier by local school children and several members of the Adak community. More than a dozen students from Adak Public School created signs to show their support for the Boutwell runners and one of their own teachers.

“I had a great time and think it was a great idea for the Coast Guard to involve the community,” said Ivan Hodes, a teacher at Adak Public School. “We enjoy something like this, especially when it involves physical fitness.”

Many residents of the Aleutian Islands work and rely on the waters the Coast Guard protects. Being able to meet with the community and have positive interaction allows them to feel confident that the Coast Guard is always available to help.

“We enjoyed the run around Adak’s unique harbor and were buoyed by the local support, especially the cheering squad,” said Capt. Jim Munro, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell. “It’s great to be appreciated by the communities we serve. Adak folks came out and treated us like family throughout our stay there.”

Adak is the westernmost town in the United States, located in the Aleutian Islands and well-known for its history during World War II and the Cold War. The Coast Guard is committed to maintaining positive relationships with communities, such as Adak, both within the United States and overseas.

Commissioned in 1968, the Boutwell is one of the nine remaining 378-foot Hamilton class high endurance cutters. The crew is currently deployed to the Bering Sea, primarily conducting fisheries enforcement and serving as a search and rescue asset.

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