Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The U.S. Coast Guard is on a mission, urging congressional leaders to continue to provide funding to improve their aging fleet.
Jessica Kartalija has more from on board a billion dollar ship in Fells Point.
The newest addition to the U.S. Coast Guard fleet is docked at Broadway Pier in Fells Point.
“We are promoting our brand new ship. It’s the newest ship in the Coast Guard,” said Guillermo Lopez, U.S. Coast Guard.
Named for the late Captain Dorothy Stratton, the cutter is designed for law enforcement, search and rescue and defense operations.
But its mission this week in Baltimore is crucial.
“Baltimore gives us a great opportunity to get close to Washington, D.C., so we can have our congressional overseers, as well as our Coast Guard people who may not otherwise have an opportunity to see a national security cutter, to come down and see what kind of opportunities we have with the Coast Guard and work internationally,” said Captain Charles Cashin, commanding officer of the USCGC Stratton.
The Coast Guard is hoping Congress will recognize the technological advances of the new cutter and allocate funding toward improving its fleet.
“We have a minimal crew on board, and it allows us to operate more efficiently, very much more so than our older fleet that we are replacing,” said Chuck Wilson, U.S. Coast Guard.
Congressman Elijah Cummings is visiting the cutter, promoting a partnership between the Coast Guard and Morgan State University.
“The Coast Guard went to great lengths to make this happen because it wants to open its doors to a more diverse population–with women and minorities,” Cummings said.
Through internships and scholarship programs, the U.S. Coast Guard hopes to enrich its fleet and target a younger and more diverse demographic.
This is an official port call for the cutter and unfortunately the public won’t be able to come aboard this time.
The cutter will be docked in Fells Point until Friday, when it will leave for South Carolina.