Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivers his final State of the Coast Guard Address

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivers the 2016 State of the Coast Guard Address at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, Feb. 23, 2016. During the address Zukunft discussed the Coast Guard's continued focus on strategic challenges, building a 21st century Coast Guard and investing in Duty to People. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley

WASHINGTON — Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, delivered the State of the Coast Guard Address Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

This was Zukunft’s final State of the Coast Guard Address, as he will retire June 1, following the Commandant’s Change of Command.

The commandant highlighted achievements of the Coast Guard’s workforce during the 2017 hurricane season, one of the nation’s most catastrophic on record. During three back-to-back storms, the men and women of the Coast Guard saved nearly 12,000 Americans. Among those impacted by the hurricanes, he said, were 700 Coast Guard families who lost their homes in the storms.

Zukunft also called attention to the Coast Guard’s work protecting the homeland, describing the service’s work in interdicting $7.2 billion worth of cocaine on the seas before it could reach the shores of the U.S. He also mentioned the Coast Guard referred 606 smugglers to the U.S. Department of Justice in the last fiscal year and how evidence the service obtained during these counter-narcotic operations helped our partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations disrupt transnational criminal networks, illustrating how our whole-of-government approach advances security and prosperity for the nation.

The commandant also announced the Sexual Assault Prevention and Recovery Strategic Plan will include a specific focus on victim recovery, saying that while he requires every senior member of the service to emulate a culture of respect, “every single one of us shares this quintessential responsibility.”

To watch commandant’s speech and for more information on the 2018 State of the Coast Guard Address, please go to https://www.uscg.mil/SOTCG2018/.

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