operations such as illegal immigration, he said.
District 13 performs its missions
with a traditional mix of old and
new assets and infrastructure. Its
largest ship is the 225-foot Buoy
Tender Astoria, which is stationed
in Astoria, Ore.
In recent years, the district has
seen upgrades to its MH-65C Dolphin and HH-60J Jayhawk helicopters and received new 45-foot Response Boat-Mediums. District 13
also is home to the four 52-foot motor life boats left in the Coast Guard.
Blore said they are extremely capable
ships, and in good shape, but at
some point will need to be replaced.
The district also has a Coast
Guard Maritime Force Protection
Blore is hopeful that District 13 can get improved
information technology and unmanned aerial vehicle
“With the mountains that surround us, our communication system can sometimes be limited and we
could certainly use [a UAV] for offshore as we go out
in some pretty [bad] weather,” Blore said.
The service has no UAVs, but continues to study
what models might best suit its needs. The Coast Guard
has been studying the Northrop Grumman MQ- 8 Fire
Scout and General Atomics Predator-B.
“Both tend to lend themselves to Coast Guard uses
with the Predator [development] really far along and
the Fire Scout a little further back,” said Blore, who
was the Coast Guard chief of acquisition before being
assigned to District 13 command.
The service did not request funding to purchase a
UAV in its fiscal 2012 budget proposal.
“It’s all about resources. It’s not the hard technical
issue now, it’s when can we schedule money to do
this,” Blore said.
The Pacific Northwest is noted for the amount of
rain it receives, and the wear and tear that can cause is
evident on the district’s resources.
“If we have a weakness here it’s the infrastructure
that’s supporting [ships]. Piers, boat houses, they all suffer from extreme weather. We need an infusion of capital
[for improvements] and in the meantime are accomplishing some of those projects slowly,” Blore said. ■
U.S. COAST GUARD
The Coast Guard’s Thirteenth District patrols several ports, including the Port of Se-
attle, which is one of the largest in the country. Here, an MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter,
a 52-foot motor lifeboat and the Marine Protector-class patrol boat Adele ready for
a search-and-rescue demonstration near the Port of Seattle container facility.
ty missions due to heavy container traffic and a military
presence. Everett Naval Base is located on Puget Sound.
Only a handful of other stations — including Coast
Guard Station Long Beach/Los Angeles and Coast Guard
Station New York — operate under this security level.
“Our primary missions are to protect the maritime
critical infrastructure, the maritime mass transportation and the deep draft vessels that are coming into and
out of the ports,” said Lt. Kris Tsairis, Station Seattle’s
The station is constantly evaluating port threats
based on a matrix that determines the probability of
something going wrong.
“We are always monitoring suspicious activity that
could disrupt the maritime trade industry and we
spend a lot of time keeping those folks safe and operational,” he said.
Station Seattle neighbors a large container port and
Tsairis said it is difficult to keep every piece of cargo
100 percent safe.
“In order to really have true port security and maybe
to hit every boat we want to hit as far as do boarding
on it, escort it, whatever it is, I don’t think we have the
people to do that — in Seattle and overall in the Coast
Guard,” he said.
Noting the district’s shared northern border with
Canada, Blore said the service’s relationship with the
Canadian Navy and Coast Guard has never been
stronger. The U.S. and Canadian services assist with
search-and-rescue missions and share intelligence on