Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited Coast Guard Headquarters, on Jan. 22, to receive briefings from the service's senior leaders and to tour the Coast Guard's National Command Center.
The Coast Guard was the first component agency of the department Napolitano visited following her swearing-in Wednesday as the department's third secretary.
Napolitano was greeted by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad. W. Allen and honors were rendered by the Coast Guard's Ceremonial Honor Guard. Napolitano then toured the Coast Guard's National Command Center where she was briefed on the command center's mission and the duties of the command center watchstanders. Following the tour Napolitano received briefings from Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, Deputy Commandant for Operations and Rear Adm. Brian M. Salerno, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship.
The briefings provided an overview of global Coast Guard operations and more detailed briefings about recent and current operations including anti-piracy operations with Combined Task Force 151, drug interdiction cases involving self-propelled, semi-submersible vessels and the Coast Guard's response to the ditching of an Airbus A320 in the Hudson River and the Coast Guard's role in ensuring the maritime industry's preparedness for such mass rescue scenarios.
"It was a true honor to have Secretary Janet Napolitano, our new Homeland Security and service secretary, make her first visit to the Coast Guard just one day after being sworn in by President Obama," said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen. "It is clear from watching her and listening to her that we share a common philosophy including a bias for action, transparency, and unity of effort within the department. The Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard are in good hands under her watch."