The Coast Guard National Maritime Center opened
its first office in Martinsburg, W.Va., in support of its mariner licensing and documentation program restructuring and centralization project. The office will initially evaluate applications and issue credentials for mariners applying through New Orleans. The transfer of remaining divisions and functions from Arlington, Va. to the Martinsburg area will continue over the next year.
When a permanent facility is completed during the summer of 2008, all evaluation and issuing functions will take place in Martinsburg as part of a project to improve customer service to mariners. The mission of the Coast Guard's Regional Examination Centers will also change to focus on providing direct service to mariners, including fingerprinting, establishing identities, administering testing, and providing course oversight.