SOUTHPAT (Southern Patrol) Newsletter
Greetings family and friends of MELLON from the counter-drug fight off Central and South America. We have enjoyed more success since my last newsletter in keeping cocaine off the streets of America. At a future ceremony, we will add a new ‘snowflake’ to our bridge wing collection to mark a significant seizure by MELLON.
Places we visited since early May included a brief stop for fuel in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala on May 6, a port visit in Golfito, Costa Rica May 11-13 and a second visit to Balboa, Panama May 30-Jun 2.
The modern and bustling metropolis of Panama City, Panama, became a favorite liberty stop during our patrol
CDR Jadon Klopson, LCDR Eric Jones, Cadet 1/C Katherine Martorelli, LTJG Taylor Gruver, Cadet 1/C Andrea Byrd, ENS James Provost and LTJG Casey Goranson at the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal.
In addition to disrupting narcotics trafficking, MELLON responded to a mayday call from the cargo vessel BULK TRADER. The BULK TRADER reported that her engine room was on fire and that she had no or propulsion and was on emergency battery power. Upon arriving on scene the fire was reported extinguished. MELLON sent DCC Doug Knight and LTJG Mike Prosser to ascertain the extent of the damage, the condition of the crew and to facilitate communications with the Greek master. Fortunately, all 24 crew members were OK but she was adrift with no hope of restoring propulsion. At night the BULK TRADER was vulnerable to collision because of her location in a heavily traveled shipping lane. MELLON lowered her risk when EM1 Hans Shaffer designed temporary ‘Not Under Command’ lighting while EM2 Phillip Nakoa rigged it on the BULK TRADER. MELLON then stood by the vessel until a commercial tug arrived to take her under tow.
In other operations, MELLON refueled at sea alongside Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship HMCS PROTECTEUR on June 7. It was a textbook evolution. ENS Jennifer Davidson did a fine job conning MELLON alongside and BM3 John Cavendish and SN Graham Gentry skillfully steered as Master Helmsmen. BM2 Dillon Smith led a superb deck force effort as Rig Captain.
Above: SN Jonathan Baker stands ready as MELLON makes the final approach to HMCS
Down in Main Control, the Engineer Officer of the Watch MKCS Justin Fitzpatrick teamed with MK1 Krista Beck and MK1 Nick Reiser on throttles to keep our speed in perfect step with PROTECTEUR. The refueling coincidently occurred just after game three of the Stanley Cup NHL championship between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins. Our fueling stations exchanged friendly banter about the future Cup winner and we observed PROTECTEUR crew members proudly wearing their team’s jersey. Unfortunately for them the Bruins were eventually victorious, which prompted sympathy emails to PROTECTEUR from MELLON hockey fans.
We found time to unwind a bit at sea in between busy operations. Morale events included fish calls, a flight deck skeet shoot, casino night, spades card tournament and trivia nights. The highlight event was a swim call when over 70 crewmembers took advantage of sunny skies to jump into a Pacific Ocean that featured perfect water temperature and flat seas.
Above: LTJG Sam Andriessen and GMC Joseph Prewitt instructing Cadet 1/c Katherine Martorelli prior to the flight deck skeet shoot.
Right: MK3 Chad Roseneau, FN Immanuel Harris, & MK3 Franklin Castro enjoying swim call.
Below: SN Graham Gentry showcases his musical talents for the crew at one of MELLON’s Saturday night talent shows. Right: ET3 Noland Priester at swim call.
Update to MELLON’s Dependent’s Cruise: The event is now confirmed for Sunday, June 26 in Port Angeles, WA. Our Ombudsman Mrs. Andrea Pawlowski, sent family members an email with details of the event. Here is the event timeline:
MELLON will provide bus transportation to depart Base Seattle at approximately 0800 on Sunday morning to arrive in Port Angeles at approximately before noon. The bus will stop for lunch in Port Angeles before going the last 5 miles to the Coast Guard Air Station where MELLON will be moored. Guests arrive at the cutter at 1130, and then we depart at 1pm. We arrive in Seattle at 8 pm.
Guests may drive and park at Base Seattle, or may meet the ship directly in Port Angeles. For security reasons, parking at the Base will be limited to vehicles registered with the Base and displaying Coast Guard vehicle stickers.
Other restrictions apply. For information, please email your MELLON sailor or Mrs. Pawlowski atuscgcmellon(at)gmail.com
Left: Enjoying fish call and sunset during well-deserve time
Bravo Zulu, or BZ, is the Allied naval signal that means "Well done!" These crew members received special recognition in May-June:
MK1 Krista Beck and ME1 Carl Kirtsinger received thePermanent Cutterman’s Pin for five years of sea duty.
EN Jennifer Davidson and OS3 Leo Hrynkiewicz received theTemporary Cutterman’s Pin for six months of sea duty and qualification in required watchstations.
The following crew member earned well-deserved promotions: FS3 Marcus Raggio to Petty Officer Second Class and SA Colleen Wright to Seaman.
The following crewmembers received theCoast Guard Sea Service Ribbon: ET1 Nicholas Muscolo (four years of sea service), LTJG Sharon Mezulis (four years of sea service), ENS Ryun Konze, FN Jesse Perez (one year), FN Robert Dirado (one year), DC2 Thomas Alonzo (one year) MK2 Michael O’Connor (one year), SN Ryan Godwin (one year), SN Emily Swanson (one year), FN Oleksandr Matyushyn (one year), MK3 Wolsleben (one year), OS2 Shawna Leatherby (one year), SN Jonathan Finnerty (one year), SN Jorge Saza (one year), FSCS Craig Paige (ten years), BMC Elijah Klein (seven years), IT1 Kris Chirico (four years), and OS1 Holly Mansfield (one year).
The following crewmembers joined MELLON in May-June: SA Paul Self, SN Drake Simmons, FA Jesse Davis, FA Kenneth Worster, SN Keith Williams, and MK1 Chris Tossey.
The following Coast Guard Academy Cadets joined MELLON temporarily for their summer training phases: 1/c Andrea Byrd, 1/c Katherine Martorelli, 3/c, Nathon Borders, 3/c Samuel Kulp. 3/c Eric Lenoir, 3/c Nicholas Philips, 3/c Ainsley Stringfield, 3/c John Tubalado, 3/c Karlin Joh, 3/c William Dise, 3/c Cameron Lanphere, 3/c Pantelis Vasilarakis, 3/c Allyson Mason, and 3/c Isaak Olson.
*****FAREWELL TO SHIPMATES****
The following MELLON crewmembers departed in May-June for their next duty assignments: SN Shea Kvintus and FN Richard Hagy, both headed to the Airman Program at Coast Guard Air Station North Bend, OR.
July 26: Change of Command Ceremony. I will be relieved of command by CAPT Daniel McLaughlin at Base Seattle, with RADM Chris Colvin presiding.
August 2-6: Seattle Sea Fair
This concludes the June edition of the MELLON newsletter. Thank you again to all our families and friends. Your support is vital to our mission.
Dave Klipp, Captain
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