Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coast Guard Deployment

I am a member of the Coast Guard Art Program, COGAP, and was recently asked if I’d like to be deployed for 4 days on their newest National Security cutter, the USCGC Stratton, of course I said yes. My assignment is to photograph the crew in their duties as well as images inside and out of the ship for future paintings to be submitted to the Coast Guard Art Program. I will board the ship in December and spend the next 4 days collecting reference photos for future paintings of this ship and crew.

USCGC Stratton under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi

The Stratton is the third of four mega high tech 418-foot Legend Class cutters to replace the dependable but aging 378-foot Hamilton Class cutters built in the 1960’s. The National Security cutters perform alien migrant interdiction operations, fisheries protection, search and rescue, counter-narcotics and homeland security missions. On it’s first patrol out the sistership USCGC Waesche interdicted 2 vessels within a 48-hour period containing over 25 million in cocaine being smuggled to the US. The new National Security Cutters have the range to patrol from South America to the Bering Sea. The new cutters carry two helicopters and 2 long and short-range boats. The Legend Class cutters are real beauties!  
    USCGC Stratton getting underway

I have known about this new project for about a month now but had to wait for my travel orders to be cut before announcing it. Mary Ann Bader, COGAP coordinator, has been great to work with in setting this all up with the Executive Officer of the Stratton. I’m looking forward to being on board the ship and recording as many images as I can for future works. I’ve been going over my photo equipment in preparation for getting as many reference photos as possible in the 4 days I’ll be with the ship. I’ll be posting some of these images when I return from the deployment in December.
Captain Dorothy C. Stratton
Director of the SPARS, the Coast Guard Womens Reserve during WWII