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USCG Auxiliary to be commissioned at Flag Day

Some twenty-plus local residents have joined the newly established U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 28, a volunteer organization that will be commissioned tomorrow during the 2012 Flag Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Stadium.

U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Charles Ray, Pacific Region Commander of the Hawai’i based Coast Guard District 14 - which includes American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands - arrives later today for the commissioning ceremony and to participate in the two-day Flag Day celebration. 

“We have been working on this for the last seven months and it has come to fruition,” Lt. Steven Caskey, supervisor of the local Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Unit in Pago Pago, told Samoa News yesterday. “We have 20 to 25 members so far and this is a volunteer organization made up of local residents. The group provides support service to the Coast Guard through volunteer service.”

According to the Flag Day program,the Flotilla 28 commissioning will occur after the Oath of Enlistment ceremony for new local recruits for the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Ray, along with several members of the Coast Guard will arrive on board a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. Already on island for this event is Capt. Joanna Nunan, the Captain of the Port of Honolulu, which has jurisdiction over the Port of Pago Pago.

In February this year, Caskey presented Certificates of Membership of the Coast Guard Auxiliary to Taulapapa W. Sword designated Flotilla Commander; Bill Maxey, Flotilla Vice Commander;  Ed Husseini for Marine Safety; Malcolm Sword, who will be involved in operations; Terry Shimasaki, the finance member; and John Goeke, public education officer.

Established by Congress in 1939 the Coast Guard Auxiliary motto is Semper Paratus (Always Ready). The Auxiliary operates in, among other things, safety and security patrols; search and rescue; mass casualty or disasters; recreational boating safety; and recruiting for all services in the Coast Guard.

Additionally, the Auxiliary operates in any mission as directed by the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard or the Secretary of Homeland Security.

“The overarching mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is to contribute to the safety and security of our citizens, ports, and waterways. We balance our missions of Recreational Boating Safety and Coast Guard Support with Maritime Homeland Security and other challenges that emerge as a result of a post-9/11 era,” according to the Coast Guard website.