A Different Focus
District 13 personnel emphasize humanitarian, environmental missions
BY JOHN C. MARCARIO, Assistant Editor
Protecting the Scenery
tioned near the coastal waters of
Oregon and Washington. Idaho and
Montana also are in the district.
Blore said the district is properly
staffed to perform its missions, adding that personnel have increased
by around 2 percent in the last few
“Everybody in the Coast Guard is
resource challenged and we have
about the right mix of resources
here,” Blore said. “Like most districts, we are well-equipped to handle things one at a time. If we start
getting two or three going on at the
same time, that can be very difficult
and that can be a major challenge.”
District 13 patrols several ports, including the Port
of Seattle, which is one of the largest in the country. It
is the second largest car importer and third largest container facility in the United States, with a lot of that
trade coming from Asia, Blore said.
Seattle also is considered the launching point for
Arctic operations, ranging from Coast Guard icebreaking to commercial fishing and crabbing, with many of
those ships being homeported there.
“Many people don’t realize how big a port facility it
is,” Blore said. “I don’t have a single biggest port secu-
rity concern, other than to not let anything bad happen.
There are certainly opportunities if you have evil intent
to do things with the cover of international trade.”
Coast Guard Station Seattle is the largest station in the
district, with 42 active-duty personnel and 36 Reservists
who are tasked with patrolling Puget Sound, Lake
Washington and surrounding areas. Station Seattle pro-
vides maritime security patrols and enforced moving and
fixed security zone escorts to naval, Washington State
ferry and commercial vessels for the entire area.
It operates under a high level of security and focuses
on homeland security, port waterways and coastal securi-
The Coast Guard’s Thirteenth District has the same core homeland security and search-and-rescue responsibilities that other
Coast Guard districts have, but its emphasis slightly differs.
■ The district is primarily called upon to do humanitarian and environmental missions.
■ The district commander is hopeful that improved information
technology and unmanned aerial vehicle capabilities will arrive in
the near future.
■ Within District 13, Coast Guard Station Seattle is the largest
The Coast Guard’s Thirteenth District, which encompasses four states in the Pacific North- west, abounds with picture-perfect scenery
that includes snow-capped mountains, sparkling waterways, tree-lined roads and lush forests. But it’s also
home to busy ports, significant commercial, passenger
and recreational water traffic, and ever-changing weather conditions that can pose a variety of challenges for
the service members stationed there.
“We are primarily called upon by the public here to
do humanitarian and environmental missions. That
does not mean we don’t do homeland security or maritime law enforcement or immigration missions, but
the focus here is environmental and humanitarian. We
have a heavy search-and-rescue mission and we spend
a lot of focus on keeping the pristine environment the
way it is,” Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, district commander, said in an interview at his Seattle office prior to his
July 12 retirement after 36 years in the service. He was
succeeded by Rear Adm. Keith Taylor.
About 3,000 active-duty and Reserve members make
up the District 13 force, along with 1,200 Coast Guard
Auxiliary members. A majority of the personnel are sta-