Guardians of the Potomac: U.S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes - Southern Maryland Headline News

Guardians of the Potomac: U.S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes


By Shannon Slaughter, NAWCAD Public Affairs

Coast Guard Machinery Technicians 1st Class Matt K Thrappas tie up a response boat at the West Basin Marina on NAS Patuxent River while Coast Guard Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Thomas Smith keeps it steady. U. S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes missions include search and rescue support to Pax River and its tenant test and evaluation facilities, presidential security operations and liquid natural gas tanker protection. (Photo: Shannon Slaughter, NAWCAD)
Coast Guard Machinery Technicians 1st Class Matt K Thrappas tie up a response boat at the West Basin Marina on NAS Patuxent River while Coast Guard Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Thomas Smith keeps it steady. U. S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes missions include search and rescue support to Pax River and its tenant test and evaluation facilities, presidential security operations and liquid natural gas tanker protection. (Photo: Shannon Slaughter, NAWCAD)

ST. INIGOES, Md.—Nestled along Molls Cove of the St. Mary's River, in a corner of the Webster Outlying Field Annex of NAS Patuxent River, sits a simple complex of buildings that make up U. S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes.

Dedicated in 1976, the station is one of six under the control of Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, which is responsible for all operations in the Potomac River, middle and upper Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Canal.

The 41 active-duty military members and 18 reservists of Station St. Inigoes exhibit bravery, determination and enthusiasm when conducting their multi-mission responsibility which include search and rescue; ports, waterways and coastal security; enforcement of laws and treaties; marine environmental protection, and recreational boating safety.

Other missions include search and rescue support to NAS Patuxent River and its tenant test and evaluation facilities, presidential security operations, and liquid natural gas tanker protection.

"For these efforts and others, Station St. Inigoes has twice been the proud recipient of the Sumner Kimball Readiness Award," said Senior Chief Boatswains Mate Philip M. Robinson, Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes officer in charge.

Coast Guard units earn the Kimball Award by demonstrating an extraordinary state of readiness in administration, operations, maintenance and training during a rigorous inspection.

This honor, combined with the skill and diligence of the staff, truly help the station live up to its motto, "Guardians of the Potomac."

The multi-talented men and women, who operate Station St. Inigoes, dedicate each day to ensuring the safety and security of the citizens under their jurisdiction.

The members of Station St. Inigoes devote their time to a diverse array of tasks including training, operations, maintenance of their boats and buildings, search and rescue, safety inspections and law enforcement.

A familiar presence on the waters of the Patuxent and Potomac rivers in Southern Maryland, Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes patrols the largest and southernmost section of Coast Guard Sector Baltimore. Also, Station St. Inigoes ensures fishing and recreational boats maintain a 500-yard berth around the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal and nuclear power plant in Calvert County.

"We have four boats, three 25-foot small response boats and one 41-foot utility boat," said Machinery Technician 1st Class Matt Koll. "We're out there every day."

Most patrols leave from the station on Webster Field or from the West Basin on NAS Patuxent River. They are a familiar presence on the installation, and in and around St. Mary's County, always selflessly serving their Country while upholding their core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.

The Coast Guard, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, is the nation's leading maritime law enforcement agency and has broad, multi-faceted jurisdictional authority. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service, unique among the other U.S. military branches because it has a maritime law enforcement mission, with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters, and a federal regulatory agency mission.

Although each Coast Guard member has a specific job title, each performs a variety of roles. Since the station is responsible for its own maintenance and upkeep, each member must be able to step in and do jobs outside their specialties.

"There's a lot of variation in the job," said Machinery Technician 1st Class Derick Thrappas. "I'm a (mechanic), but being in the Coast Guard, it's sort of like getting a new job every three years. I can't imagine sitting behind a desk doing the same thing every day."

Koll agreed, "It keeps it interesting. New location, new job; it's never boring."

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