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 Jeremy.L.Clipse@USCG.mil
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: The majority of our married crew elect to live in Government 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. 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 are entitled to spacious barracks room at Patrick AFB.
6. Our Servicing Personnel Office (SPO) POC is YN1 Barron at Sector Jacksonville, FL, (904) 564-7543, MON THRU FRI 0800 TO 1600. The Seventh District Work-Life Relocation Assiatnce Manager (RAM) is Mr. Wayne Bacon at Base Miami (305) 278-6673.
7. Our Unit Ombudsmen is Mrs. Pepper Woodard and her email is VIGILANTOMBUDSMAN@YAHOO.COM. Your sponsor will provide their contact information. Spouses are encouraged to contact the Ombudsmen 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 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 Zachary Smith at (321) 853-7176 or Zachary.F.Smith@uscg.mil. Upon reporting in, you can visit the TRICARE Service Office at the Patrick AFB clinic.
10. Again, WELCOME TO CGC VIGILANT!CDR R.O. Gatewood