Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From Blue to Tan – The multi colors of the Coast Guard Uniform

VADM Papp met with the next PATFORSWA Training class students at ISC Portsmouth. The first official day of school started for these men and women. These Coast Guard members will spend the next two months training for deployment to the Northern Arabian Gulf and outlying areas. They will replace those existing members that spent the last year in theater supporting Department of Defense missions. The training builds upon their current skills to operate in a different environment then they are accustomed.

“While you are here in Portsmouth, learn everything you can. You will not know which of these skills you will use while you are there. You can be called to many things from driving a boat to driving a truck accross the desert. You are training to do what we need to do and become part of some of the hardest working Coast Guard personnel in the world. You are going to a dangerous but not risky environment. The mission you are training for is not only significant for our country but is also significant for Iraq, Kuwait and other countries in the area.”

“I am here to thank you for your service. So thank you and Good Luck.”

VADM Papp just recently came back from meeting with the forward deployed forces in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. The first hand knowledge helps better support those in theater. Besides taking questions from the group he shared his experience in a video presentation.

Just like an excited parent whom has just sent their child off to the first day of school after a summer break, VADM Papp is very excited for these shipmates of his. “I look forward to seeing you again at the conclusion of your training and I am going to try and get back overseas to see you in action.”

The students will change their uniforms after training from the Coast Guard ODU Blue to Desert tan camouflage. Then they will be forward deployed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain. And for the first time members of this class will also deploy to assist operations in Afghanistan.