SAN DIEGO — The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his third state of the Coast Guard address March 11 at Coast Guard Sector San Diego, Coast Guard Headquarters said in a release.
Adm. Karl Schultz outlined his vision for the service to protect the homeland, enhance economic prosperity, and advance America’s national security interests. Schultz accentuated the dedication and sacrifice of Coast Guard members stationed across the country and deployed during this past year of unprecedented challenges.
“Across the Service, I see individual Coast Guard members contributing to their communities, and standing the watch to secure the Homeland, enhance our economic prosperity, and advance our national interests across the globe,” Schultz said.
During the annual address, Schultz reflected on the organization’s success over the past year and featured members of the Coast Guard who excelled in crisis, rescued mariners in distress, interdicted illicit narcotics, and responded to a record-setting Atlantic basin hurricane season, all complicated by the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Coast Guard members stood the watch amidst adversity, showcasing what makes our Service special — our people,” Schultz told the mostly virtual attendees this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
He also underscored new Coast Guard capabilities in Southern California. “In April, we will break ground on our first new aviation unit in more than two decades — located right here in Southern California. Air Station Ventura County will significantly enhance our aviation multi-mission capability in the region,” Schultz said.
The service chief discussed a variety of ongoing and emerging fleet recapitalization programs, providing updates on the Polar Security and Offshore Patrol Cutter acquisitions; efforts to replace the aging fleet of inland buoy and construction tenders with Waterways Commerce Cutters; and initial steps to transition to an all MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter fleet.
Schultz further highlighted the Coast Guard’s operations in the nation’s system of ports and waterways, better known as the Marine Transportation System (MTS). The MTS is a key economic engine for the nation, fueling 26% of America’s gross domestic product (GDP) which equates to $5.4 trillion of annual economic activity and 31 million jobs.
“Our seaports are the gateways for 90% of international trade, and the Coast Guard helps to oversee this vital economic engine that ensures energy products and other goods arrive at businesses and storefronts in every corner of our country,” Schultz highlighted.
Download his full remarks at www.uscg.mil/AlwaysReady.