“As we stand up bases, particularly most places where we’re co-located with
other Coast Guard units, like sectors, we’re looking for opportunities to
maybe do some consolidation. The current state of the economy forces us
now more than ever to be innovative and to look for better, more affordable, efficient ways of doing business.”
How does the mission support change for contingency operations?
GROMLICH: That’s a big change. Rather than having
the logistics and service centers set those day-to-day
priorities in a local area on a base, during a contingency those elements now work for the base commander and that base commander may very well work
directly for the operational commander and the district
commander. That was one of the things that operational partners really liked about this initial construct.
An example would be when Hurricane Irene came
up the East Coast. The potential was going to impact
District 7 [along the South Atlantic Coast]. It impacted
District 5 [in the Mid-Atlantic] and District 1 [New
England]. … Well before that hurricane started head-
ing for the Tidewater, Va., area, the operators and mis-
sion support folks were tied together. We were looking
at all the predictions, the operational commander was
moving assets and we were moving support personnel
to be ready to roll in as soon as the hurricane came
through, so we had damage assessment teams in great
position, we had emergency response teams that could
actually go in and do the repairs to Coast Guard facil-
ities and infrastructure. We had all that stuff in place,
and knowing what the operational commander was
planning to do, in that way, it worked very well.
Is a majority of your contingency response
spent on hurricane planning?
GROMLICH: We work extensively on hurricane plans
and we’re working to do exercises with each of the districts from New Orleans all the way up the East Coast,
but we also are involved in a number of other things.
We also need to be ready to respond to other incidents
such as earthquakes.
What type of mission support do you provide
for planned events of national significance?
GROMLICH: A couple of examples that I can think of
would include the winter Olympics in Vancouver last
year. Our folks out in District 13, particularly, were
very involved with the planning.
For those kinds of events, we want to make sure
that, logistically, we’re plugged in early so we can help
do the planning and preposition people, parts, whatever it is that’s needed to provide the support for the
Coast Guard units and assets that are going to be