Aug 04 2017
Today marks the 227th birthday of the United States Coast Guard. Founded in 1790, the Coast Guard’s 42,000 active duty men and women patrol our country’s tens of thousands of miles of coast and shoreline, stopping criminals and smugglers, securing our maritime ports and keeping our waterways safe for recreational and commercial ships alike.
The Coast Guard plays a vital role in Delaware. Along our nearly 400 miles of shoreline, the Coast Guard are the ‘cops on the beat,’ conducting security patrols, leading search and rescue operations, and always preparing for national defense. At the Port of Wilmington, the Coast Guard partners with Customs and Border Patrol to inspect ships and keep traffic running smoothly so the port can continue to move six million tons of goods through the First State each year and support tens of thousands of regional jobs.
Last week, I visited the Port of Wilmington to meet with our Coast Guard sector leadership and climb aboard the Coast Guard’s new Fast Response Cutter (FRC) ROLLIN FRITCH, named after a Coast Guard ‘enlisted hero.’ Together, we toured the ship's decks and discussed with its crew the vital role the Coast Guard plays in maritime security and marine safety. As a former naval flight officer in Vietnam, I used to work with ships and crews just like Rollin Fritch, tracking and reporting enemy ships seeking to infiltrate the shoreline and resupply enemy ground forces.
The men and women of the Coast Guard have a tough day job. At any moment, they can be called into action for a not-so-routine inspection, to carry out a search and rescue mission, or to support our national defense. On the Rollin Fritch, the ship's crew spends days at a time away from home patrolling our seas. In the Navy, when someone does an exceptionally good job, we say “Bravo Zulu.” So, to the Coast Guard personnel protecting Delaware and serving around the world, I say Happy Birthday, and Bravo Zulu. Keep up the good work.