Making connections with Ouzinkie community

Petty Officer 1st Class John Gallagher, an electronics technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, provides a tour of the cutter's bridge to Ouzinkie, Alaska, students.

Petty Officer 1st Class John Gallagher, an electronics technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, provides a tour of the cutter’s bridge to Ouzinkie, Alaska, students. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Keith Arnold.

Written by Lt. j.g. Keith Arnold, Coast Guard Cutter SPAR

The community of Ouzinkie welcomed Coast Guard Cutter SPAR at their ferry pier Friday, January 30th. Students from the Ouzinkie School were the first from the community to board SPAR, and were given tours of the ship by Petty Officer 1st Class James Ferguson and Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Bronniman.

The tours included stops on the bridge, sick bay, and the mess deck. Petty Officer 1st Class John Gallagher explained basic concepts and use of bridge equipment while Petty Officer Chad Phillips presented medical tools and even demonstrated how to treat a laceration. Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Kennelly saved the grand finale for the mess deck where he explained life as a cook while the students enjoyed cupcakes.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Phillips, a health services technician aboard the SPAR, talks about his role as a first responder aboard the cutter.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Phillips, a health services technician aboard the SPAR, talks about his role as a first responder aboard the cutter.

Petty Officer 1st Class Class Kendall Cook led the organization of the tours and the visit.

“There wasn’t anything too hard,” said Cook. “It’s really easy to put something like this together when the crew knows what they are doing and works together.”

The students were not the only ones seeing new places; SPAR’s Damage Controlmen joined a welding class at the school where stick welding was the topic of the day. Two of SPAR’s welders talked about their experiences and the pros and cons to the various types of welding.

Five tribal council and city representatives joined the SPAR’s commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Jannusch, for lunch in the wardroom. The group had an informal discussion about the relationship between the community and the Coast Guard and how they could continue to support one another. Following lunch, Jannusch lead the council on a tour of the ship and explained shipboard routine and buoy evolutions. Both the SPAR and tribal council benefited through mutual sharing of information.

The cutter also brought child and adult life jackets from the state funded “Kids Don’t Float” program in support of water safety. The Coast Guard Spouses’ Association of Kodiak also donated two boxes of knitted hats and mittens to the community.

Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Jannusch, commanding officer of the SPAR, provides a tour to the Ouzinkie, Alaska, Tribal Council.

Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Jannusch, commanding officer of the SPAR, provides a tour to the Ouzinkie, Alaska, Tribal Council.

After loading the life jackets into vehicles, LCDR Jannusch presented a recognition plaque to the community and joined the tribal council for a tour of their community before SPAR’s departure.

SPAR regularly visits local villages in her area of responsibility to gather information on local needs and in support of Coast Guard 17th District’s goal of remaining connected to the communities they serve.

Tags: , , , , ,