U.S. Coast Guard to establish small boat station in Apra Harbor, Guam

HAGATNA, Guam – The U.S. Coast Guard will establish Station Apra Harbor Friday, Sept. 26, 2008, making it the first small boat station in the Mariana Islands.

Station Apra Harbor will join 188 other Coast Guard small boat stations throughout the United States. The legacy of the U.S. Coast Guard small boat station dates back to the establishment of the U.S. Lifesaving Service in 1878. The multi-mission role of Coast Guard stations comes from the merger of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service that formed the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915.

There will be 17 active duty enlisted personnel and 11 reserve enlisted personnel assigned to the station, with a Chief Boatswain’s Mate as the Officer in Charge. The station crew will maintain and operate four boats: three 25-foot Defender Class boats and one 21-foot rigid hull inflatable boat.

As an independent command operating under the Coast Guard’s Sector Guam, Station Apra Harbor will carry out missions in support of America’s maritime safety, security, and stewardship interests. The new station will be heavily tasked with performing law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, and homeland defense operations.

The establishment ceremony for U.S. Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor will be held at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam at 10 a.m. Friday. Capt. Stephen E. Mehling, the chief of staff of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, headquartered in Honolulu, will preside at the ceremony. The establishment ceremony is a time-honored tradition that preserves the rich heritage of the Coast Guard. Chief Boatswain’s Mate Eric J. Benafel will become the first Officer in Charge of Station Apra Harbor.

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