CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Thursday, the Coast Guard Commandant delivered his State of the Coast Guard address, announcing new plans to dramatically increase the Coast Guard’s presence in Charleston.
Admiral Karl Schultz says he envisions Charleston becoming a major hub for the Coast Guard:
“We’ve got some work to do, but we are doing our due diligence. We are trying to pace it right; we came here today to signal that we are serious about coming to Charleston. I think the footprint here could look like, will look like, 5 of these National Security Cutters, and a certain number of yet to be determined offshore cutters. I think our total human footprint could double to almost 2,000 people; it could be one of the largest centers of gravity for the Coast Guard in the coming decade.”Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl Schultz
The message is being heard loud and clear by the Coast Guard family.
Mark Wilbert, who served for decades, says he’s excited about what the future holds.
“It’s really interesting, we were talking about that on the way over here you know, being on the federal side and the Coast Guard side where you are really part of every community that you are in, and now you come here and you get a chance to give back to the community. Be part of it, and really hopefully in a way, see how we can mesh these two communities together.”Mark Wilbert, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Charleston
Admiral Schultz says they are also focused on helping during humanitarian crises like Hurricane Dorian, and fighting the war on drugs.
The Admiral also honored several Coast Guard men and women during his speech for their exemplary service and sacrifice.