Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Base Support Unit San Pedro Dedicates New Fitness Center in Honor of Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal


SAN PEDRO, Calif. - U.S. Coast Guard Base Support Unit (BSU) San Pedro dedicated its brand new fitness center in honor of Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, a deceased Coast Guard member, during a ceremony on Friday, October 29, 2010, at

Bruckenthal was the first U.S. Coast Guardsman to have been killed in combat since Vietnam. On April 24, 2004, while assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement South, Bruckenthal was on a security mission in the Persian Gulf when suicide bombers initiated a waterborne assault on the Khawr Al Amaya oil terminal. Bruckenthal was severely wounded, while defending the Iraqi terminal and later died from his injuries. He received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

“It is a true honor to dedicate this facility to Petty Officer Bruckenthal,” said Cmdr. Andy Clyburn, BSU commanding officer. “A new Fitness Center born from a need to support our Deployable Operations Group personnel could not be a more appropriate living historical monument. Having Nate’s former TACLET Commanding Officer and LEDET Officer in Charge join us today made for a truly special event.”

“WOW is all I can say! Two years ago this place was a bunch of disorganized unit storage cages,” said Mission Support Command Master Chief Kevin Ishwerwood. “Today, through a combination of self help initiative, strong Command leadership, and ‘Chiefly’ creativity, BSU San Pedro has a fantastic fitness facility. It's a win for the crew; a win for the Coast Guard; and a win for posterity in the recognition of a fallen Coast Guardsman.”

Upon entering the 2,100 square foot facility, visitors are welcomed by a bronze legacy plaque with Bruckenthal’s image. Inside, there is a large shadow box mounted on the wall where people can read more about this courageous Coastguardsman who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his country.

This new facility will play a critical role in maintaining the operational readiness and fitness for local DOG units as well as other operational and support units. One of the largest in-house undertakings at the in Base history the facility directly benefits the health and well-being of all Coast Guard members and stakeholders on Reservation Point. The new facility has state-of-the-art free weights and cardio equipment.

After crews painted out the new space and 16-foot high ceiling they installed a concrete porch, custom awning, railing, drinking fountains, ventilation, floor matting, and over 125 customs flag mounts that promote the Coast Guard’s international partnerships and allegiances to Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.

The Base plans to expand the fitness center over the next 12 months by adding a 1,800 sq. foot room where Coast Guard personnel can conduct boarding team training. This room will also house all cardio equipment and be a place where members can participate in video or instructor-led aerobic exercise classes.

The previous fitness center was a much smaller, off-base facility managed by the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution. When it was announced that the FCI facility would be closed for an extended period of time, Marine Safety and Security Team Los Angeles – Long Beach, Port Security Unit 311, and other operational units on Base reached out to Cmdr. Clyburn for assistance. Realizing the importance of maintaining physical fitness for Deployable Operations Group units, BSU San Pedro quickly began construction on the west wing of the supply warehouse in March 2010.

Ceremony attendees included: Mrs. Arcola Washington-Adduci, Federal Corrections Institution Terminal Island Warden, Mr. Dave McDaniel of McDaniel Construction, lead contractor on the facility and Lt. Adam Burkley, Bruckenthal’s Law Enforcement Detachment officer-in-charge (at the time of his passing). The official party included Capt. Glenn Grahl, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), Bruckenthal’s commanding officer at the time of his passing and Command Master Chief Kevin Isherwood, CMC for the Coast Guard Chief of Staff. The ceremony preceded the grand opening of the Base’s brand new Chief Petty Officer Mess on the south side of Reservation Point. A brief reception followed both events.

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