31 August 2009

Member Training: FEMA Incident Command/NIMS/NRP Courses (IS-100/200/700/800)

One of the first things we tell many new members to do is to start work on your "FEMA classes" or your "ICS" courses. We do this for a number of reasons:
  1. Many qualifications require two or more of these courses.
  2. You can take them right away, there is no need to wait for your member number.
  3. They get new members started with something substantive but, as they are produced by FEMA for a wide audience, something that does not require any specific knowledge of the Coast Guard or the Auxiliary.
  4. (This is my secret reason) These courses encourage use of plain English and they encourage new members to ask questions when we fall into our own particular patois, "Auxiliaristesse". 
While there are many offerings from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute Independent Study program we are usually referring to four courses when speaking to new members:
  • IS-100.a: Introduction to Incident Command System - This course introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • IS-700.a: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction - This course introduces and overviews the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.

  • IS-200.a: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents - This course is designed to enable personnel to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS-200 provides training on and resources for personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within the ICS. 
  • IS-800.b : National Response Framework, An Introduction - The course introduces participants to the concepts and principles of the National Response Framework.
These courses can be found here:

The courses are conducted by self study and include online testing. The suggested order is 100, 700, 200 and finally 800. Your mentor and member training officer will work with you to determine which courses to take but there is no harm in completing the entire series as time permits - the completion does not expire.

Please note that completion of these courses is not communicated to the Auxiliary. To get these classes properly entered into your record please forward the completion email you receive to the Flotilla Commander and the FC will send it on to Charles Claytor in the D13 Auxiliary Office for entry. (Policy in other Flotilla may be different)

Please print and retain a copy of your certificate. It is also very helpful to retain a copy of the email from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.

29 August 2009

New Officer Directory

The Auxiliary Technology Office has launched a great new service for members to find contact information on fellow members and your officers. This service gives you access to phone numbers in addition to the email addresses available on eDirectory. It also lets you check currency of qualifications. Access is somewhat limited based on your role in the Auxiliary.

The Officer Directory will show you officer roles, names and contact information by browsing down through lists. The less obvious use is to search by member name or to search by qualification. The list shown (with the ID# and Name obscured) is a list of all coxswains in the Division and the status of their qualification. This is a great resource if you need someone with a specific qualification. Note: to search for some one in our division you need to use the code 130-07 [e.g. D13 Div 7].

Let me know what you think and I'll pass the feedback along to the team responsible.

26 August 2009

A brief introduction to Flotilla 76 on SlideShare

Here is a brief presentation on the Auxiliary and Flotilla 76 I'll be using at the Detachment meeting this evening. Enjoy!

Scappoose Detachment Meeting - Wednesday, August 26,2009

Scappoose Detachment of Flotilla 76 of the Coast Guard Auxiliary!
The meeting date is Wednesday, August 26,2009 at 19:00 hrs

The meeting location is:

Multnomah Channel Yacht Club
50990 Dike Road
Scappoose, Or 97056

Parking is in the lower parking lot.

Our meeting will be the first of many here and our training will be by Daren Lewis and Todd Mains -"What is the Auxiliary" along with a tour of a working Auxiliary Facility

24 August 2009

Official sew-on devices for your ODUs at the on-line District Store

The on-line District store at now has the official sew on devices for the Operational Dress Uniform.
These include:

  • Auxiliary Trident Device
  • Past Officer Device
  • AUXOP Device
  • Past Officer Device
  • Recreational Boating Safety Device
  • Auxiliary Aviator Wings
  • Auxiliary Aircrew Wings well as the officer devices with black "A" to replace the red and blue "A"s used to date. We don't know much about this change yet but I'm sure we'll find out.

Fellowship: 2009 Picnic

It was great to see so many of you at the Picnic last Saturday - we had a great turnout over the course of the afternoon. Another big thank you and Bravo Zulu to Gary and Candy for the catering, the food was great!

12 August 2009

National Preparedness Month is Coming Soon

September is National Preparedness Month

Are you and your family prepared? If not, now is a perfect time to get ready. Being prepared for disasters and emergencies can help reduce the fear, stress, and anxiety that results from these situations. Having a plan and knowing what it is will help you and your family cope with the situation as it unfolds.

For professional information on how to prepare for and keep informed during a disaster or emergency, please visit and explore the following websites:

Citizen Corps

FCC (Federal Communications Commission)

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

National Weather Service - National Hurricane Center

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

09 August 2009

Flotilla 76 Picnic - 22 August - note the location has changed


Whom: Flotilla 76 members, alumni, families, friends and distinguished guests

What: Flotilla 76 Annual Picnic

When: Saturday, August 22, 2009 – 11:00 ‘til ? Catering served from 2:00 until about 4:00

Latitude: 45 degrees/ 34 minutes/ 41.73 seconds North
Longitude: 122 degrees/ 42 minutes/ 40.98 seconds West

Columbia Park, Area H (near N. Lombard and N Woolsey)

This is a huge and gorgeously maintained park in residential north Portland. It does not have a dedicated parking lot, but it is surrounded by residential streets. It is filled with giant trees which heavily shade the green velvet lawns, has a large ballfield, tennis courts, a horseshoe pitch, a gigantic playground and an indoor swimming pool. This is the pool we used for Boat Crew/Coxwain Academy PPE swim test last winter. Site H is very close to the street and conveniently close to the restrooms. 

Folks who call Gary Bell (at 503 987 1173, voice mail – leave your name, phone and number of hungry guests) by Monday August 17 can order Savortooth Catering for $5.00 each, which will include: 

Traeger BBQ chicken quarters,

  • Red potato and bacon salad,
  • Italian pasta salad
  • Corn-sickles with melted butter or chipotle-lime mayonnaise
  • BBQ beans
  • Iced tea
  • Disposable plates, cups, utensils and napkins will be provided of course.
  • NOTE: At that price we won’t be able to make a huge amount of extra food for undecided folks, so if you want to come through the catering line, PLEASE call us by August 17!
  • You can pay for the catering at the picnic. 
  • Of course you can bring your own food too!!

Everyone is encouraged to BRING Picnic Appetizers, Assorted Munchies and/or Fabulous Desserts TO SHARE. Gary’s catering partner (and wife) Admiral Candy will judge any appetizer and dessert entries you’d care to submit – the winning family will get a custom dinner cruise on their power catamaran Stray Cat.

Beverages: BRING YOUR OWN. Please be discrete with adult beverages and no table dancing or fist fights.

Speaking of tables, there are seven picnic tables at our site, Please BRING YOUR OWN lawn hairs, blankets, coolers and the like to fit out your family spot.

HELP! We need a little help. Can we get a couple of volunteers to organize adult and kid activities and games?

Uniform is strictly civilian clothes. This is a public park, so clothing is required at all times.

We will leave the grounds in perfect order. Garbage bags will be available, and families are encouraged to dispose of their own trash, relieving Admiral Candy the need to pay for quite as much trash at the St. Johns Garbage Transfer Site.


04 August 2009

Happy Coast Guard Day

Today is the 219th birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard. Treat yourself to some recent Coast Guard stories and messages:

From: Admiral Thad Allen
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 5:30 PM

Subject: Commandant's All-Hands: Coast Guard Day 2009

To the Men and Women of the U.S. Coast Guard:

This message to you is longer than normal, but I urge you to take some time to read this and reflect on our past and future.

Coast Guard Day provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the parallels between historical events and our current activities. The concept of a “Coast Guard” is a unique product of the American Revolution - a blend of previous naval and customs functions that had never been assigned to a single entity. Two-hundred and nineteen years ago, Alexander Hamilton created a modest service to collect revenue to sustain our fledging Nation. Envisioning the need for a more robust federal maritime presence, he directed the first Revenue Cutter captains to ensure the safety of life at sea, preserve our maritime sovereignty, and facilitate maritime commerce while treating their countrymen with respect. He also foresaw the need for risk management and flexibility to meet emerging demands. A brilliant visionary, Hamilton knew change was coming. Today, the nations of this world are coming to understand the relevance, value, and indispensability of a maritime presence capable of exerting and insuring national sovereignty. While larger nations have a requirement to project naval sea power, most nations are (or should be) concerned with the depletion of living marine resources, the safe and secure development of offshore oil and gas industries, illegal migration, drug and other contraband trafficking, and the use of the global commons for piracy or to further extremist ideologies through sea-based terrorist and criminal activities. We exist today because this was understood for the first time two centuries ago by the First Guardian.

Our path to the present has at times been difficult. Throughout our history, the Coast Guard has undergone significant organizational changes driven by vital national interests that have altered and expanded our missions. Each change brought anxiety, uncertainty, and a level of apprehension. Change is never easy. As we navigate through our current challenges, we should remember that even before they were officially promulgated, our enduring values - honor, respect, and devotion to duty - held the Service together through previous modernization and recapitalization efforts, as well as shifts in our safety, security and stewardship missions. We are wise to learn from our proud history as we build a powerful future.

Modernization isn’t a new idea. When Ellsworth Bertholf became Captain-Commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service in 1911, he faced a Presidential commission which recommended splintering the Service because it was too multi-functional. Bertholf successfully countered that a multi-mission agency would achieve greater efficiencies and then went a step further to embrace the Secretary of Treasury’s recommendation to merge with the Life-Saving Service. Combining the military cuttermen with the civilian lifesavers was a daunting task rife with skepticism. Two vastly different cultures had to unite for a common purpose. Our predecessors made it work, and in 1915 the modern Coast Guard was born. Our current challenge to recapitalize is not new either. Captain Alexander Fraser, the first military Commandant of the Revenue Marine in the 1840s, pushed the fleet to transition from wood hulled sailing vessels to iron steamers. Fraser’s initiative put the Revenue Marine at the forefront of federal efforts to develop steam propulsion and eventually led to a recapitalized and more-efficient Service. Likewise, our first surfmen used oars to muscle their way through storms right up to the 20th century. It wasn’t until 1899 when Revenue Marine Lieutenant C. H. McClellan designed the first motor lifeboat. A true skunk-works project - it was a 2-cylinder, 12 horsepower engine with twin reversible propellers - but it worked, and the lessons learned contributed to the development of the famous 36-foot motor lifeboat. Acquisition, construction, and integration of capital assets are difficult tasks, but with each innovation we increase our ability to protect, defend, and save.

Protecting the maritime public is at the heart of our safety mission. After multiple steamship disasters, the federal government created the U.S. Steamboat Inspection Service in 1838, formally acknowledging the need for a federal marine safety role. Highlighting just how complex and vital this mission area was to our economy and war-efforts, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9083 in 1942. For the first time in history, all of the federal government’s marine safety functions were consolidated under one, multi-mission organization; the U.S. Coast Guard. Conceived in peace but consecrated during war, our marine safety mission reflected the Nation’s constant need to protect lives and property.

The Coast Guard traces its national security and defense roots back to 1790. During the Quasi-War with France, the Revenue Marine cutters were the only war ships able to defend our maritime sovereignty prior to the reestablishment of the Navy. This role reemerged in World War I following the horrific explosion at Black Tom Island, a munitions depot in New York Harbor. German saboteurs were suspected because Black Tom Island was a vital transfer station for Allied weapons destined for the battlefields of France. Through the Espionage Act of 1917, Congress empowered the Coast Guard to prevent sabotage on merchant shipping and cargo, eventually leading to the creation of our Captain of the Port Authority. Each forged during conflict, our safety and security missions have remained intertwined - stronger and more effective in concert than they are alone. As Guardians, we are stewards of the marine environment. After Alaska was acquired in 1867, the Revenue Cutter LINCOLN was dispatched to police this new frontier. Private enterprises quickly discovered Alaska’s treasure trove of natural resources and it was only the Revenue Marine that protected the vast salmon stocks, seal population, and indigenous people from exploitation. Following the tragic EXXON VALDEZ oil spill in 1990, Congress passed the Oil Protection Act (OPA 90) issuing one of the biggest legislative mandates in Coast Guard history. While broad in scope and impact, OPA 90 reaffirmed and strengthened the Coast Guard’s existing stewardship mission that had been in place since the LINCOLN plied Prince William Sound.

As you can see, our current challenges have strong historical roots. On this Coast Guard Day, we stand at another inflection point in our proud Service history. Our predecessors made course corrections amidst tumultuous circumstances but they never lost touch with Alexander Hamilton’s charge and their values. Each time, we maintained a true heading and emerged stronger and better positioned to meet new demands. As Hamilton envisioned, a Guardian Ethos remains fixed in our organizational DNA, providing the strength, support and structure to guide our efforts. Our proud history stabilizes the Service so we can build a powerful future as America’s Maritime Guardian.

Thank you for your tremendous dedication to the Coast Guard and the Nation.

We are writing our history each day and each of you has a hand on the pen.

Admiral T. W. Allen

Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

02 August 2009

Untucked Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) update II

MCPOCG Bowen passes along an ODU update from the Uniform Program Manager. The bottom line is that the Auxiliary may be able to order untucked ODUs as soon as September. Please keep in mind that new members, for whom sizes of the tucked ODU are not available, can order a single set of untucked ODUs. Talk to me if you fall into this situation.