SUBJ: WELCOME ABOARD
1. Welcome to the finest WMEC in the fleet! CGC VIGILANT has a long and proud tradition of excellence and service to our country. We look forward to you helping us continue this tradition.
2. Your sponsor will be designated in your welcome aboard message. In the event you don't receive your message, an alternate POC is the OOD, (321) 853-7176, 0700 to 2200 daily while we're inport or you can email the ship's Yeoman at Michael.P.Alexander.
3. General info: VIGILANT is homeported at Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, FL and is co-located with CGC CONFIDENCE, CGC SHRIKE, ESD DET Port Canaveral and MSD Port Canaveral. Our normal operating area is the Seventh Coast Guard District Area of Responsibility (AOR) including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. We primarily conduct counterdrug and alien migrant interdiction patrols. These patrols are from five to seven weeks in duration. General information concerning life onboard the ship can be found by clicking "HERE".
4. Local area: The surrounding area is known as the Space Coast, due to close proximity of Kennedy Space Center. Housing, medical/dental, commissary/exchange, and family/morale support facilities are available at Patrick Air Force Base, which is located about 13 miles south of Port Canaveral. The local area is well known for its beaches, surfing, sport fishing, and other water activities. There are also numerous recreational attractions located within a one to three hour drive including Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, St. Augustine, Daytona and much more. The schools in the local area have a good reputation are some of the best in Florida. Please let your sponsor know if you require more school details.
5. Housing: Many of our married crew elect to live in Civilianized Housing at Patrick Air Force Base and are very happy there. Patrick AFB housing is modern, spacious, and well maintained. The commute to our mooring is 20-30 minutes from there. For more information on Patrick AFB, log onto www.patrick.af.mil. Personnel who desire to buy a home or rent on the economy find housing costs are reasonable. Important: regardless of whether you chose to buy or rent, you must first obtain a release from mandatory assignment to Government Housing through the area Housing Officer. Having a release from housing prior to signing any commercial housing contract is essential in order to ensure you do no incur rent or mortgage obligations and later lose your entitlement to BAH. This is a sensitive issue in the Port Canaveral area since there is a surplus of Government-owned housing. Single E-3 and below will initially live on board until qualified, then are entitled to spacious barracks room at Patrick AFB. Our area Housing Representative is FS2 James Simpson at Station Port Canaveral. (321) 868-4237.
6. Our Servicing Personnel Office (SPO) POC is YN3 Arce at Sector Jacksonville, FL, (904) 564-7525, MON THRU FRI 0800 TO 1600. The Seventh District Work-Life Relocation Assiatnce Manager (RAM) is Ms. Lori Carrington at ISC Miami (305) 415-6976.
7. Our Unit Ombudsmans are Mrs. Leann Wilch and Mrs. Sarah Kosydar and their email is VIGILANTOMBUDSMAN@YAHOO.COM. Your sponsor will provide their contact information. Spouses are encouraged to contact the Ombudsman for any concerns.
8. CHECK-IN PROCEDURES:
A. Inport: Meet the ship at Station Port Canaveral, FL in Tropical Blue Long. Morning muster is at 0655, Monday thru Friday.
B. Alternate Check-in procedures if VIGILANT IS DEPLOYED: Check-in with FS2 Simpson at (321) 868-4327 or the Station Port Canaveral OOD at (321) 868-4200. Travel to meet the Cutter underway will be arranged.
9. Medical: If you have dependents and choose to use TRICARE, they must be enrolled locally. To find out how to enroll your dependents or if you have any questions regarding health care, contact www.tricare.mil or our Health Benefits Advisor, HS2 Tim Sutherland at (321) 853-7176 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon reporting in, you can visit the TRICARE Service Office at the Patrick AFB clinic.
10. Again, WELCOME TO CGC VIGILANT!
CDR J. C. Estramonte