By CDR Glynn Smith, Coast Guard Compass
Thursday, Adm. Bob Papp, 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard, delivered his second State of the Coast Guard address at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif. During his speech, Papp described the Coast Guard as, “on track, but navigating uncertain and stormy seas.”
“The Coast Guard’s missions are valuable to the nation as “95% of our foreign trade arrives – or is shipped – by sea. The maritime transportation system accounts for nearly $700 billion of the U.S. gross domestic product and 51 million U.S. jobs. Our Nation’s economy and its security depend upon maritime commerce. And our Coast Guard provides for its safe and secure approaches to our shores,” said Papp.
Describing the Coast Guard’s challenges in a constrained budget environment, Papp said, “The current national deficit demands change. On our current track line, we will likely see the Coast Guard get smaller … But, we have faced tough times like this before and, as any ship Captain can tell you, the most important element to weathering a storm is a great crew.”
Relying on shipmates for an optimistic outlook on the future Papp said, “Too many in our country seem to view these uncertain and stormy seas as reasons for doom and dismay and that our best years just might be behind us. One thing I’m sure of is these people have never met anyone from my crew. As we prepare for and proceed into heavy weather it is your commitment to excellence, your spirit, and your professionalism that will continue to fuel my optimism, eventually the weather will improve.”
Papp also announced the publication of Coast Guard Publication 3-0 defining Coast Guard Operations during his remarks.
This article originally appeared on the Coast Guard Compass, the official blog of the USCG, and is republished here with permission.