Alex Haley crew honors shipmate for long service in Alaska

Cmdr. Stephen White, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, congratulates Master Chief Petty Officer William James his service, more than half of which was in Alaska during a visit to the ship in Kodiak, Alaska, April 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould.

Cmdr. Stephen White, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, congratulates Master Chief Petty Officer William James his service, more than half of which was in Alaska during a visit to the ship in Kodiak, Alaska, April 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould.

By Ensign Thomas Hernandez and Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley received a visit from Coast Guard’s small boat inspection team in April. The visit culminated in the certification of the small boats as ready for operations and recognition of one of the inspection team member’s long contribution to the service.Master Chief Petty Officer William James, a boatswain’s mate, is retiring from the Coast Guard at the end of April after 30 years of service, including 17 years of sea duty.

James entered the Coast Guard in 1984 and began his career in Juneau aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Cape Carter. He also patrolled Alaskan waters on the cutters Sweetbrier, Naushon and Acushnet. James was presented with an Alaska state flag aboard the Alex Haley while in Kodiak, Alaska, in recognition of his time served in the state.

“I am happy to end my career visiting Alaska, where it first began,” said James, as he departed Alex Haley.

James, currently stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Virginia, was in Kodiak as part of the small boat inspection team visiting Alex Haley. The Alex Haley crew and James’ inspection team ensured the cutter’s small boats are mission ready for patrols. The boat crews conducted drills and inspected the condition of lifesaving equipment in preparation for the crew’s at sea missions.

The Alex Haley is a 282-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak and the crew are charged with patrolling Alaskan waters, the Arctic and North Pacific Ocean ensuring the safety and security of mariners and Alaskans. The crew’s primary missions are homeland security, search and rescue and law enforcement.

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