>Loss of CG-1705

>From the Commandant:

To the Men and Women of the United States Coast Guard:

On Sunday, we suspended the search for the seven missing Guardians from CG-1705 and the two Marines onboard the AH-1 Cobra helicopter. I am deeply saddened that we were not able to locate any survivors but am proud of the thousands of people who conducted or supported the search efforts.

Our focus is now on determining the cause of the accident. Recovery operations are ongoing and salvage efforts will commence soon. The Coast Guard will conduct a Joint Service Safety Investigation Board with the Marine Corps and RDML John Korn will serve as the President. I ask for your patience during the course of the investigation. It is important that we not speculate about the cause of this accident and that we allow the investigation to inform our understanding of what happened.

After hearing about the accident, I immediately traveled to AIRSTA Sacramento and to Sector San Diego to visit with the families and the personnel involved in the search efforts. Please visit iCommandant (http://www.uscg.mil/comdt/blog/2009/11/cg-1705-update-support-investigation_02.asp) for more information on those visits.

The National Ensign will be flown at half-mast to honor our seven missing Guardians until we hold a memorial service on Friday, 06 November at AIRSTA Sacramento (ALCOAST: http://www.uscg.mil/announcements/alcoast/628-09_alcoastt.txt). I am extremely grateful to the Coast Guard Foundation for their selfless assistance; once again, they are rescuing the rescuers.

Being that we are such a small Service, this loss will touch every member of the Coast Guard. As Guardians, keep a weather eye on your shipmates and keep the families in your hearts during this difficult time.

Admiral Thad Allen
Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard