Auxiliarists Support US Coast Guard during Hurricane Arthur

Auxiliarist Clifton and McLeod put in over 40 hours over the three day duration of the event. According to McLeod, “It’s great to be able to step in to a position and have a seamless transmission between Active Duty and Auxiliary. I really think the public is more interested in getting the information and less interested as to who provides it.”

According to Auxiliarist Charles McLeod, “It’s great to be
able to step in to a position and have a seamless
transition between Active Duty USCG and Auxiliary.”
USCG Photo by Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi

Article by Auxiliarist Charles McLeod, Public Affairs Officer

Portsmouth, Virginia – This was not a drill. Auxiliarists Charles McLeod and Trey Clifton answered the call for assistance to be spokespersons and watch standers for USCG District Five Public Affairs Office as Hurricane Arthur barreled up the East Coast. The Auxiliarists acted as a force multiplier for USCG Public Affairs during a critical “all-hands on deck” situation.

On board a 45' response boat from Sector Hampton Road Auxiliarist Trey Clifton was asked to assistin the first and only boat patrol of the afternoon. USCG Auxiliary Photo.

Auxiliarist Trey Clifton was asked to assist
in the first and only boat patrol of the
afternoon. USCG Auxiliary Photo.

According to Lt. Krystyn Pecora, USCG Public Affairs Officer, “Having trained Auxiliarists available at times like these allow for expanded mission capabilities. Their service and training especially with local contacts and resources is very helpful.” Auxiliarist Clifton maintained watch over the several miles of port operations, surveying for damage or hazards that might have been left in the aftermath of the Category 2 storm. Clifton stated, “While some were checking the damage to their property and starting to fire up the grill, I felt very fortunate to be a part of this crew today.”

Trey's assistance with the watch and photo recorder for several mission critical aids to navigation and the many bridges and tunnels that connect the region together. At the end of the 4 hour patrol, having found no discrepancies while on the water, it appears that Sector Hampton Roads fared quite well. USCG Auxiliary Photo.

USCG Sector Hampton Roads fared quite well
considering a Category 2 Hurricane had just passed. At
the end of the 4 hour patrol, no discrepancies to aids to
navigation were found. USCG Auxiliary Photo by
Auxiliarist Trey Clifton.

Meanwhile, Auxiliarist McLeod served as a media coordinator for the Coast Guard. While serving in the capacity of a spokesperson for the Coast Guard McLeod spoke to reporters and producers from CNN, The Weather Channel, NBC, FOX and ABC along with several radio and newspaper outlets, such as the LA Times. His support helped free up several Active Duty positions to concentrate on other tasks. A Public Affairs Specialist from the USCG Virginia office was able to travel to the harder struck North Carolina areas due to McLeod’s support.