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Fair winds, a welcome, and good stuff from Flotilla NoVA

posted Aug 11, 2011, 7:34 PM by Andrew Welch   [ updated Aug 11, 2011, 9:26 PM ]
Northern Virginia Shipmates,

In June we bid farewell to our absolutely superb Vice Flotilla Commander and second-in-command, Ken Doyle as he moved to Kansas to study at the Army Command and General Staff College.  This is a wonderful opportunity for Ken, and though his absence leaves us a great deficit, we wish him nothing but success over the next 18 months.

I am happy to report that on August 9, Emily Johnson formally assumed duties as our new Vice Flotilla Commander.  Ms. Johnson brings to this post her experience serving on small boats, as a vessel examiner, instructor, and as a human resources officer.  She is graduate of the Coast Guard Auxiliary program at The College of William and Mary, where she served as commander of her detachment.  

I have to admit that I was one of her instructors during her time at William and Mary, and I am immensely proud of what she has accomplished since then.

Emily and I lead the finest crew in the entire Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Of this I have no doubt.  At my change of watch this past January, I shared my belief that "history is replete with turning points, when small groups of good people accomplish extraordinary things."  As a tribute to each of you, and also to Mr. Doyle's leadership, I'll share with you some of the great things this small group of part-time "coasties" has accomplished since January 1, 2011:
  • You have provided assistance to at least 50 mariners on waters ranging from the Potomac River to the Chesapeake Bay;
  • You have demonstrated extraordinary devotion to duty through your collective participation in 10 distinct incidents, 73 distinct exercises, and 80 distinct events;
  • You have honored your profession through your observance of the sea's traditions - a change of watch, a dining out, and over 100 hours out in the community telling the Coast Guard's story;
  • You have respected your shipmates by taking care of each other through tough times - personal sickness and loss, trying times in your families, and in strengthening friendships;
  • Six of you have qualified as new vessel examiners, and are already keeping others safe before they leave their dock;
  • One of you has qualified as new boat crew, with another five of you well on your way in the next several months;
  • Your tireless efforts on the decks and in the engine room have brought two new vessels online and in service to the public trust.
I could not be more proud to serve with you.  In the next six months we will focus on maintaining the operational tempo we have reached this summer, operationally qualifying our most junior members, and working hard to building up our crew.  Thank you to Ken for your service - fair winds, and see you when you return.  Welcome aboard, Emily.  Thanks to each and every one of you for your service.

Very respectfully,
Andrew Welch
Flotilla Commander