U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen delivered his fourth and final State of the Coast Guard address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Friday.

In his annual address, Allen discussed the Coast Guard’s response to the earthquake in Haiti, the operational character of the service and the challenges it faces in the future. He also summarized facets of the Coast Guard’s fiscal year 2011 budget proposal and spoke about the need to replace the service’s aging vessels, aircraft and shore facilities to enable its men and women to continue delivering superior services to the Nation into the future while adapting to the maritime challenges of the 21st century.

“So what is the state of the Coast Guard? In two words: ready and resilient,” said Allen. “We are ready and resilient. We demonstrated that in the view of the entire world in the first hours and days following the Haitian earthquake. We were there first because our operational forces and command and control structure are agile and flexible. Authority to move forces is delegated outside our headquarters, so our field commanders can act immediately. Our forces are working hard to sustain current operations, maintaining cutters until our new ones are delivered.”

During his address, Allen set time aside to recognize Coast Guard personnel who participated in the Coast Guard’s recent response efforts in Haiti and their courageous efforts to take swift and decisive actions to reduce the pain and suffering endured by those affected by the earthquake.

To download the full transcript from Friday’s State of the Coast Guard Adress, CLICK HERE

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