Friday, August 14, 2015

Coast Guard Members Celebrate Service’s Birthday at Cybercom

From a U.S. Cyber Command News Release

FORT MEADE, Md., Aug. 14, 2015 – The Coast Guard element at U.S. Cyber Command headquarters here celebrated the 225th birthday of the Coast Guard during an Aug. 4 ceremony led by Coast Guard Rear Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, director of training and exercises for Cybercom.

"We are honored as Coast Guardsmen to celebrate our two hundred and twenty-fifth birthday. Since 1790, the Coast Guard has been protecting the nation,” said Lunday, the most-senior Coast Guard member in Cybercom.

The Coast Guardsmen were joined at the celebration by joint service members from Cybercom and the National Security Agency.

Lunday noted that the Coast Guard today is a mosaic of agencies that joined the original Revenue Cutter Service -- the precursor of today’s Coast Guard.

"We protect the people on the sea, we protect the nation from threats on the sea, and we protect the sea itself. And we don't do that alone, of course,” the admiral said. “We do that as a member of the joint force. We are an armed force at all times. We're also a law enforcement agency, part of the intelligence community."

Building on History

Lunday noted that the Coast Guard’s newest crypto-enabled cutter, the USCGC James, is named for a celebrated Coast Guard life-saver, Capt. Joshua James. James' lifesaving activities began at the age of 15 when he participated in a rescue aboard a Massachusetts Humane Society ship. James went on to save lives for more than fifty years.

In one 24-hour rescue in November 1888, James -- then 62 years old -- repeatedly led his crew into the gale-force winds pounding Boston Harbor, eventually rescuing 25 people, Lunday said.

James' career was filled with similar repeated acts of valor, and he is credited with saving hundreds of lives throughout his career, the admiral said.

In 1902, following hours of leading training exercises and rowing his boat through high winds and treacherous waters, James said, "The tide is ebbing." Those were his last words. He died at the age of 75, still on active duty with the U.S. Life-Saving Service.

The USCGC James was commissioned Aug. 8th in Boston.

While the work at Cybercom and NSA is interesting and cutting-edge, “we never forget what our [Coast Guard] service is all about,” Lunday said.

“It goes back to these very roots,” he added. “Those Coast Guardsmen who were at the pointy end, [who] were old, wet and tired ... were out there in harm's way putting themselves at risk to defend this mission. And though we may have newer equipment and different capabilities than they had, it's no less dangerous, and we know that from everyday operations."

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