Coast Guard conducts multi-agency training

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard News
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard and local agencies held a multi-agency training day at the Port of West Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013.

The exercise provided an opportunity for officials, observers and partners from 16 participating federal, state and county agencies to test capabilities, evaluate interagency operability and improve communications, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Danny Pitts, the deputy exercise director for the exercise.

The participants also evaluated emergency response procedures, identified areas for improvement, and established collaborations.

“Trainings like these are invaluable,” said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dave Guthrie, a scene scenario controller for the event. “Working with our brothers and sisters from different agencies, we learned how each other operates. The Coast Guard is able to have confidence in our tactical skills knowing our use of force policies are in alignment and able to maintain secure communication.”

The Coast Guard and local agencies held a multi-agency training day at the Port of West Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. The exercise provided an opportunity for federal, state and county agencies to test capabilities, evaluate interagency operability and improve communications. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

The Coast Guard and local agencies held a multi-agency training day at the Port of West Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart

Agencies identified communication as an area in need of improvement.

“We had over 100 people participating, and in the Coast Guard we realize that state, county, and local departments don’t have the same tactics and communications as federal,” said Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Eric Guerette, the media and observer controller for the exercise. “A training opportunity like this allowed us to recognize the complications and iron them out.”

The Coast Guard has several missions within its area of responsibility and often calls upon local authorities for additional assets and assistance.

“We depend on local agencies immensely,” said Master Chief Petty Officer James Malcolm, commanding officer for Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye. “We have assets that are able to respond and capable of completing our missions, but we are able to foster a great working relationship as well as friendship with the agencies to call on their assistance when needed. This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure we have the best multi-agency law enforcement on our waters and land.”

The Coast Guard is a strong partner and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife enjoys working with them because they are highly motivated and trained, said Robert Ferrell, assistant chief from California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Immediately following the completion of the exercise, participants convened for a “hotwash,” which is an opportunity for everyone to provide feedback on the exercise and their own performance.

“We learned a lot from this training and were able to look at each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Pitts, the deputy exercise director. “It was great to get everyone together and be even more enlightened by what each agency is capable of. This training also allowed everyone to practice on their boats to better hone their skills.”

Participating agencies included: Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye, Coast Guard Station Rio Vista, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Yolo Sacramento Sherriff’s Office, Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and helicopter crew, Solano Sheriff’s Office, San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento Police Department, Oakland Police Department, West Sacramento Police Department, Suisun Police Department and San Francisco Police Department.

Click the photo for more from the exercise.

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