Posted by: arbeam | July 16, 2016

A Brief Coast Guard History in the Pacific Northwest

uscg_ensignUnited States has always been a maritime nation.  During our fight for independence, many fortunes were made and lost by American privateers trying to get goods and people through the British blockades.  After winning the war, some of these privateers continued smuggling their goods into ports and coastal areas to avoid paying taxes.  The new nation realized that this needed revenue was important to help sustain a new government.

The Revenue Cutter Service founded on August 4, 1790, by the Tariff Act permitted construction of ten cutters and recruitment of 100 revenue officers.  From 1790, when the Continental Navy was disbanded, to 1798, when the United States Navy was created, the Revenue Cutter Service provided the only armed American presence on the sea.

Prior to the California Gold Rush very few settlers lived in the West.  In 1849, only an estimated 304 Americans lived north of the Oregon Territory.  By 1853 there were almost 4,000 inhabitants in our area and 50% lived in the Puget Sound area.  There was a brisk sea trade and a Customs Revenue Office was established first in Olympia and then in Port Townsend.

US Revenue Cutter Jefferson Davis

US Revenue Cutter Jefferson Davis

In 1854, the Treasury Department sent the Revenue Cutter, Jefferson Davis to Washington State.  The Jefferson Davis was a topsail Schooner built by J M Hood of Sommerset Massachusetts in 1883.  She was 94 ft 6in in length and 23 ft in breadth and 9 ft in depth at 176 Ton displacement.  Captain William C. Please, the youngest captain in the U.S, revenue Cutter Service, commanded a crew of 3 officers and 32 men.  The main port of operations for the Revenue Cutter Service was Port Townsend.  A nice model of a cutter is on display at the Kitsap County Historical Museum in Bremerton.

Soon the role of the cutter increased to transport troops involved in regional unrest with Native Americans and with the British, including the “Pig War” in the San Juan Islands.

Our current United States Coast Guard reflects an exciting history of prior organizations merging with the Coast Guard to broaden its scope of responsibilities.

For example, the United States Lighthouse Board was established in 1852.

The U.S. Lighthouse Service was organized by statue in 1910 and this group merged into the coast Guard in 1939.  On February 28, 1942, the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Mt Baker and Dungeness Light - John Conniff

Mt Baker and Dungeness Light – John Conniff

Between 1852 and 1958, seven lighthouses were built in Oregon and Washington.  The first two were at Cape Disappointment and New Dungeness.  These beacons of light and sound provided warning to sailors during the many periods of limited visibility along our foggy, stormy coastline.  There are great stories of the lighthouse keepers and their families as they faced the many challenges of living in very isolated locations.

Lightship ColumbiaOther navigational aids were put in place such as the buoys in the Columbia River and Astoria Harbor.  There were also three lightships used to light the way in places where no lighthouse could be built.  These ships had to stay in position despite heavy gales and high seas.

In 1838, the Steamboat Inspection Service was established and an office in Portland opened in 1863.  By 1869, 152 vessels were inspected and 188 licenses were issued. Since 1942, inspection and licensing have become an integral part of our U.S. Coast Guard.

The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers.  It began in 1848 and ultimately merged with the U. S. Coast Guard in 1915.

The side wheel steamer Shubrick, first Lighthouse tender on the West Coast.

The side wheel steamer Shubrick, first Lighthouse tender on the West Coast.

The Coast Guard’s presence in Port Angeles began on August 1, 1862 with the arrival of the Revenue Cutter,  Shubrick. Ediz Hook level sand spit extending from the mainland north and east into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, was declared a federal Lighthouse Reservation by President Lincoln in 1863.  The fist lighthouse was commissioned on April 1, 1865. The Air Station was commissioned on June 1, 1935, becoming the fist permanent Coast Guard Air Station on the Pacific Coast.  Its location was chosen for its strategic position for coastal defense of the Northwest.  The first aircraft, a Douglas RD-4 amphibian, arrived on June 11, 1935 and flew the first “mercy hop” on August 1935.  The 75 ft patrol boats were also stationed at the new unit.

Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles

Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles

During WWII, the Air Station expanded to include a gunnery school training aerial gunners and local defense forces.  A short runway was added to train Navy pilots for carrier landings.  It also hosted independent units such as Naval Intelligence and was Headquarters of the Air Sea Rescue System for the Northwest Sea Frontier Area.  By the end of 1944, the Air Station had 29 aircraft assigned.

Big changes came to our local Coast Guard in 1920; the Volstead Act was passed as “an experiment to outlaw liquor in the United States.” The Coast Guard is essentially the only maritime military service with law enforcement authority of American citizens.  The long unprotected border with Canada and our many inlets and passages provided ample opportunities for rum running. For thirteen years, the Coast Guard needed to focus on this illegal smuggling, but the positive result was that it brought much needed additional resources.

National Motor Lifeboat School

National Motor Lifeboat School

In order to accomplish the Coast Guard’s missions in the Pacific Northwest, the Thirteenth District is home to approximately 1,746 active duty, 133 civilian, and 456 reserve personnel, three Sectors, two Air Stations, a Marine Safety Unit, a Maritime Force Protection Unit, 15 multi-mission small boat stations, four Aids to Navigation Teams, 12 patrol boats, and three Aids to Navigation Cutters. In addition to maintaining operational control over all Coast Guard activities in the district, The Coast Guard District is responsible for cultivating efficient and effective relationships with numerous other federal, state, and local agencies, elected officials, the tribal nations located in the Pacific Northwest, and with the Coast Guard’s international counterparts.

The United Coast Guard continues to grow and assume more responsibilities.  Each time we have the opportunity to tour a Coast Guard command or meet with the wonderful young men and women of the Coast Guard, we are impressed with their dedication, their spirit and their knowledge.

Semper Paratus




Posted by: arbeam | August 16, 2017

Oct 7: Commissioning of the USS Washington (SSN-787)

President’s Corner: I want to thank RDML Mike Sharp, CAPT Kathy DiMaggio and the entire commissioning committee for all their hard work. After 4 years of planning commissioning preparations for the USS Washington (SSN-787), we are in the homestretch. The USS Washington will be commissioned on Saturday 7 October at 8 AM PDT on Pier 12 Norfolk Naval Station VA.

The invitations will be mailed out this week.  This is a two-step process: the invitation will ask for how many tickets you desire and your mailing address. If you signed up to attend and have not received an invitation by the end of the month please contact me at

Due to the date delay we were not able to establish a headquarters hotel with a room block. There are three recommended hotels in downtown Norfolk, all within walking distance from each other. There are many events happening during this period and rooms are going fast. Make your room reservations now!

Hilton Norfolk The Main  100 East Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

Norfolk Waterside Marriott  235 E Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel 777 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23510

We have arranged bus transportation to the various ceremonies to leave from each of these hotels. More Details to follow:




Posted by: arbeam | July 25, 2017

PCU Washington Captain’s Log: July 20, 2017

PCU Washington recently pulled into our future homeport of Norfolk just prior to the fourth of July for the first time after completing post-delivery acoustic trials at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC). We are currently in Port Canaveral, FL loading exercise weapons and conducting the inport phase of our Weapons System Accuracy Testing (WSAT). The second phase of this testing will occur in the near future, again at the AUTEC range with WSH launching 6 exercise torpedos at both surfaced and submerged targets. Future events include our first Operational Reactor Safeguards exam in September, followed by our Commissioning at Norfolk Naval Station on October 7th.

Crew energy has been high during our newfound time at sea. Being underway has allowed over 20 of our sailors to finish their final qualifications and earn their enlisted dolphins since the ship was delivered in May. The upcoming range time and our first ever employment of exercise weapons also makes this an exciting time to be onboard Washington.

Gabriel B Cavazos Commanding Officer


The Coast Guard is celebrating its 227th year on August 4th. One of America’s five armed forces, it traces its founding to August 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 “Cutters” (small boats) to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress. The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation’s maritime laws. The Coast Guard is a multi-mission, maritime, military service and the smallest of the five Armed Services. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support U.S. national security interests.

Our Guest Speaker is Rear Admiral David G. Throop Commander Coast Guard District 13. The Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council always dedicates our August luncheon to celebrate the Coast Guard birthday. Our luncheon on 8 August will include recognizing outstanding Coast Guard men and women from  Maritime Force Protection Unit, Bangor, one of our three Coast Guard adopted units—Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles; Maritime Force Protection Unit, Bangor; and Station Seattle.

Rear Admiral David G. Throop serves as the Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District headquartered in Seattle. He is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the Pacific Northwest which includes protecting life and property, enforcing federal laws and treaties, preserving the living marine resources, and promoting national security. The Thirteenth District spans over the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana and includes more than 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways, and a 125 nautical mile international border with Canada.

Rdml Throop earning his naval aviator wings in 1988, his operational aviation assignments include tours as the Commanding Officer of Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Commanding Officer of Air Station Traverse City, Michigan. His other assignments include Commander of Coast Guard Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM), Executive Assistant to the Commandant, Executive Assistant to the Vice Commandant, Chief of officer personnel at the Coast Guard Personnel Service Center, a policy analyst for the Office of Plans, Policy and Evaluation at Coast Guard Headquarters; platform manager for the C130J aircraft during initial acquisition and as a Deck Watch Officer aboard USCG  Vigilant (WMEC-617) in New Bedford, Massachusetts

A native of Burton, Michigan, RDML Throop graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He has a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He has accumulated over 3,900 flight hours and has an FAA commercial pilot’s license in both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Location is the Bangor Conference Center, Trident Ballroon, NBK, Bangor. Doors open at 11:00, Lunch begins at 11:30

Registration: Call Realty Station at 360 377-5699 for your lunch registration. Please call before Aug 1.

Members without base access – processing time can take weeks.

Please provide your name as it appears on your ENHANCED drivers license or US passport, your city and date of birth.

Members without enhanced WA Drivers License or passport need to be escorted by a member with base access.


Posted by: arbeam | July 24, 2017

Aug 4-6: Seafair Weekend Festival

A Pacific Northwest tradition since 1950, Seafair Weekend is the culmination of the Seafair Festival. Dubbed by some as an unofficial Seattle holiday, this is the most anticipated event of summer. Seafair Weekend offers a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, tastes and action. With boat racing on the water, aerobatic performers in the sky, live music and delicious food on land, the best place to experience Seafair Weekend is at Genesee Park on Lake Washington!

Title: Boeing Seafair Air Show
Date: Friday, August 5 – Sunday, August 7, 2016
Time: Fri/Sat 8:30 A.M.- 6 P.M., Sun 7:30 A.M.- 6 P.M.
Location: Genesee Park/ Lake Washington 4316 S Genesee St

Description: One of the most impressive air shows in the country, the Boeing Seafair Air Show returns in 2017 with more exciting acts and daring aerial maneuvers than ever before!

Title: Jet Blast Bash
Date: Saturday August 5 & Sunday, August 6
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Museum opens at 9:00 AM!
Location: Seattle Museum of Flight

Description: Celebrate Seafair and the Blue Angels at the 3rd annual Jet Blast Bash! The Museum becomes the backstage of the Seafair Airshow for this two-day event, offering Seattle’s closest views of the Blue Angels’ dramatic takeoffs and landings.

Take in the runway action while enjoying outdoor family activities, classic car and plane displays, Blue Angels history talks and live music. Your favorite foods and festive refreshments are available all day, while kids can leap with a trampoline courtesy of Springfree. Then there are the airplanes–two rare World War II warbirds are flying-in for their first appearance at the Bash—a Lockheed P-38 Lightning and a Consolidated PBY Catalina! And by popular demand, SR-71 spyplane pilot and author Brian Shul returns with his heroic survival story in a special presentation and meet ‘n’ greet.

All activities included with Museum admission.

Posted by: arbeam | July 23, 2017

August 1-6: Seattle Seafair Fleet Week


Seafair Fleet Week has been a tradition in Seattle since 1950 with multiple ships annually coming into the Port of Seattle to celebrate this region’s premier summertime festival. In partnership with Navy League Seattle Council and Port of Seattle, Seafair Fleet Week honors the men and women of the military who proudly and courageously serve our country!

Title: Seattle Torchlight Parade 
Date: Saturday July 29
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Seattle Fairgrounds down 4th Ave to Downtown
Seafair Torchlight FanFest

You don’t have to wait for the parade to start to have fun with Seafair! Torchlight FanFest at Seattle Center has everything you need to get excited for our iconic parade. Guests can preview parade units and floats along Mercer Street, see Seafair personalities, explore exhibit booths and enjoy food vendors. This is your chance to get up close and personal with the Blue Angels balloon, Albert Lee hydroplane, Seafair’s Pirate Moby Duck and more! This event is FREE to the public.

Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade

Later in the evening, the Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade starts at 7:30 p.m. at Seattle Center and continues down 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle. The Parade will be broadcasted live on KIRO 7. 150,000 spectators and over 100 community floats, bands, drill teams and giant helium balloons join in for the most magical night of summer in Seattle: Seafair Torchlight Night.

Wednesday, August 2
1:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Parade of Ships & Navy Band
Elliott Bay & Seattle waterfront
Pier 66

Description: The Fleet will make its entrance into Elliott Bay accompanied by the spray of the Seattle Fire Department boat. The Navy Blue Angels will fly over.

USS ANCHORAGE (LPD-23) Pier 90 The primary mission of the U.S.S. ANCHORAGE is to embark, transport and land elements of a U.S. Marine Corps landing force in a variety of expeditionary and special operations capable missions using expeditionary fighting vehicles (EFVs); landing craft, air cushion (LCAC); tilt-rotor MV-22 Ospreys and CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters.

USS MICHAEL MURPHY (DDG-122) Pier 66 The USS MICHAEL MURPHY is a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to defend against air, surface, subsurface threats, and conduct strike operations.  MICHAEL MURPHY is built around the AEGIS weapon system, which employs the AN/SPY-1D(V) phased array radar. It is fully integrated with the ship’s weapons systems such as the Standard (surface to air) missile, the Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) missile, and the ship’s 5” 62 caliber gun. She is equipped with vertically launched anti-submarine rocket torpedoes (ASROC) and over-the-side launched MK46 torpedoes to combat submarine threats.

(WHEC 717) Pier 66 The MELLON is the third in her class of seven high endurance cutters built by Avondale Shipyards. A high-endurance cutter is designed to remain at sea for extended periods of time to undertake mid-ocean search and rescue operations, as well as law enforcement and national security missions. She capable of completing all Coast Guard missions.

Royal Canadian Navy

HMCS YELLOWKNIFE (MM-706) and HMCS EDMONTON (MM-703) Pier 69 Kingston-class Coastal Defence Vessel. The Kingston class was designed to fill the minesweeper, coastal patrol and reserve training needs of the Canadian Forces. The vessels are equipped to carry an AN/SQS-511 towed side scan sonar for minesweeping and a Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS). The vessels were equipped with one Bofors 40 mm/60 calibre Mk 5C gun and two M2 machine guns

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
United States Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Demonstration
Elliot Bay & Seattle waterfront
Audio narration provided at Pier 66

Title: Ship Tours 
Date: Thursday, August 3 to Sunday, August 6
Time: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Pier 66 USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)
USCGC MELLON (WHEC 717) Thurs, Friday 9-12 Only
Pier 69 HMCS Edmonton (MM-703)
HMCS Yellowknife (MM-706)
Pier 90 USS Anchorage LPD-23 Thurs, Fri (2-8PM), Sat (9-2PM), Sun

Safety Notes

  • Comfortable supportive shoes are recommended for anyone visiting the ships – no flip-flops, open-toe shoes, or high heels
  • Please note that the ships are not handicap accessible – you must be in good physical condition to navigate the stairs and ladders
  • Cameras are permitted
  • No smoking aboard any ship or anywhere on the pier
  • No strollers
  • Souvenirs from the ships will be available for sale (cash only) either on the ship or at a table near the exit
  • Special consideration will be given to items that accompany the elderly, small children, and handicapped visitors
  • There is no storage available nor can we hold items that are barred from entry to the pier or ships
  • Please note: While on board any Canadian ship, you are subject to Canadian laws (and outside United States jurisdiction).

Prohibited Items

  • Large bags and backpacks; small camera bags and purses will be permitted
  • Camera lenses larger than 100mm
  • Glass Bottles
  • Banners, posters, or signs
  • Pets, with the exception of service animals
  • Guns, knives, clubs, or weapons of any kind
  • Mace, pepper spray, spray cans, or other defensive sprays and chemicals
  • Fireworks or explosives
  • Flammable liquids or aerosol spray cans
  • Skateboard, bicycles, strollers
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs (to include marijuana) and related paraphernalia
  • The U.S. Navy reserves the right to prohibit other items not listed above.
Posted by: arbeam | July 21, 2017

July 14: SAFE Boats International Tour

A fortunate group of Navy League members and guests assembled at the headquarters of SAFE Boats International in Bremerton, WA for a tour on July 14, 2017.  Upon arrival we were enthusiastically greeted by JD Schultz and Cindy McFarland, who conducted our tour.

SAFE Boats was established in 1997 and is a foremost manufacturer of aluminum boats for defense, security and first responder customers.  There are 2000 boats in service world wide in over 60 countries.  160 state and local customers are included, as well as the US Government.

Manufacturing facilities are in Bremerton and Tacoma, WA.  it is in Tacoma that the largest boats are built.  The work force, many of whom are veterans, presently totals 375 employees and there are plans to hire an additional 20 soon.  SAFE Boats manufactures boats of many different sizes and types from 23′ center console designs to the 85′ SAFE Mk VI.  In between are full cabin, interceptor, walk around cabin, EMT and full cabin inboard.  Most come in varying sizes and all are customized to meet customer requirements.

We were taken for a walk around the shop areas, both inside and outside, where we could view the many steps in the approximately 3 month manufacturing cycle.  A pretty incredible and very impressive process.

The SAFE Boats International mission is to “provide the brave men and women in uniform with the most reliable boats that allow them to complete their mission, save lives, and protect freedom around the world.”  It appears that they are doing this very well.

Sincere thanks to JD, Cindy and, as always, to Byron Faber for making the necessary arrangements for this tour. Norm Martin


Posted by: arbeam | July 13, 2017

Navy League Outreach Campaign

This summer our council has participated in a series of projects to increase our visibility in the community. This includes active participation in the planning and execution of the Bremerton Armed Forces Festival, Memorial Day Ceremony, membership in the Bremerton and Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, and presentation booths at the NBK retiree seminars, and Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport’s Health, Heritage , and Hobbies (H3) Day. If you have any ideas to enhance public awareness please contact Larry Salter our membership chairman.

Posted by: arbeam | July 13, 2017

Navy League Participates in NBK Retiree Seminar

Bremerton Wash. (July 8, 2017) Capt. Alan Schrader, Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) commanding officer, addresses the audience at a military retiree seminar held at the Jackson Park community center. The seminar, sponsored by NBK Fleet and Family Support Center, featured informational booths and workshops on various topics including finances, Tricare, estate planning and other topics focused on setting up military retirees for success.


Posted by: arbeam | July 12, 2017

MFPU Tour: Jun 8 2017

A group of 26 Navy Leaguers and guests were welcomed to the headquarters of USCG- MFPU (Maritime Force Protection Unit) Bangor for a tour on Thursday June 8, 2017.  After a greeting by unit CO CDR Schoonover and XO LCDR Miek an informative briefing was conducted by LT DeShazo.  Of note, both Schoonover and DeShazo are “short timers” at the unit, with LT De Sazo leaving for assignment in the Cleveland, OH area in two weeks.  CDR Schoonover, who assumed command in July 2014, will be leaving later this year.  We certainly appreciate their service in USCG as well as MFPU and wish them well in their new assignments.

The MFPU at Bangor, established in 2007, is one of only two in the USCG, the other being at Kings Bay, GA.  Bangor and Kings Bay are the two home ports for the US Navy Trident submarine force (SSBNs).  A unique arrangement exists such that because the Coast Guard has statutory law enforcement capability, and not the US Navy, they have been engaged by the Navy to provide a security zone around SSBNs transiting on the surface to and from deployment.  All of their assets, although marked for USCG, are actually owned by the US Navy.  Personnel are USCG but all of their costs are paid for by the Navy.  For both services it is a great relationship.

Although the primary mission of MFPU is the security escort service, the unit is available at all times for “usual”  USCG functions such as rescue, maritime enforcement, etc. as needed.  The Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus (Always Ready) certainly applies to MFPU.  And although all of the other military services are part of the Department of Defense, the USCG is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Maritime assets used by MFPU include 250′ blocking vessels, 87′ reaction vessels, 64′ large screening vessels and 33′ small screening vessels.  When the requisite units are assembled and creating the 1000′ security zone around an SSBN it is called a “package”.  A pretty impressive one at that!

Following the briefing we boarded a bus which took us to the waterfront area and there we assembled into two groups…each boarding a 64′ large screening vessel.  The security gate to Hood Canal was opened and we proceeded into Hood Canal, up to and under Hood Canal bridge (right side), proceeded parallel to the bridge to the left side, back under and returned to Bangor.  Along the way some of the amazing capabilities of the 64′ boats was demonstrated such as making what amounted to water donuts with a 360 degree spin in place, and while proceeding at speed stopping in 1 1/2 boat lengths and hardly feeling it happen.

We completed the water operation and then reassembled at the nearby galley for a great lunch, finally concluding a great tour and a great experience.  Our sincere thanks to everyone at USCG-MFPU Bangor and, of course, to Byron Faber for arranging this tour for all of us.

Norm Marten


Posted by: arbeam | July 10, 2017

Tour Planning Update

Here are the upcoming tours.  There are openings for all of them.
July 14 – 9:45 AM SAFE Boats International at Bremerton Airport, then lunch at the Airport diner. Meet at the Safe Boats parking lot 8800 SW Barney White RDBremerton, WA 98312. SAFE Boats International (SAFE) is an aluminum boat manufacturer and leading supplier to military, federal, state and local law enforcement, fire and rescue agencies throughout North America and around the world.
Aug 9USS Buffalo (SSN-715)  USS Buffalo is the newest arrival at PSNS and is awaiting decommissioning after 34 years of active service.




Sept 7 at 8 AM NUWC Keyport Division. Meet at the Naval Undersea Museum parking lot. Keyport provides Fleet readiness support for submarines, surface ships, torpedoes, mines, land attack systems, and Fleet training systems. Support services we provide includes inservice engineering, test and evaluation, custom engineered solutions, and cutting-edge technologies in undersea warfare.


Oct 19 – USS John C Stennis (CVN-74)  
Jan 2018 – San Diego Navy base, ship & SEAL training center – waiting for them to confirm dates Probably a 3 day event to include the USS Midway and harbor tour.



Byron Faber
Home: 360-638-1235
Cell: 360-434-1144






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