On Friday, June 20, 2014 a fortunate group of Navy leaguers and guests were once again hosted for a tour by the USCG Maritime Force Protection Unit (MFPU) at Bangor. We last visited the MFPU on May 31, 2013 and readers are directed to the council web site to read the report of that tour. However, there were some differences since that year ago tour, although C.O. CDR Tom Sullivan did welcome us and give the initial briefing.
First of all we not only went aboard some of the MFPU boats but actually got underway on Hood Canal on two 64’ Special Purpose Craft…informally called a floating tank…for an amazing demonstration of their speed and maneuverability. Some of us, under close USCG supervision, even took the controls for a while, including my 10 year old grandson Justin Marten. I wonder why he was smiling?
Following lunch on board USCGC Sea Fox at the pier we reassembled at the new MFPU headquarters in the former Navy brig building. In addition to some obviously necessary modifications-like removal of cell doors-other work included installation of high tech communication wire throughout, something not needed in a brig. But acknowledging cost constraints the MFPU personnel proudly painted the entire interior of the building themselves with only the paint as a cost. A very substantial saving and an outstanding job well done. CDR Sullivan gave us a guided tour of the facility telling us the current use and past purpose of various areas.
Last, but certainly not least, is that this was CDR Sullivan’s last time to host a tour for us as he will be retiring from active USCG service in July. He will be leaving a very big and special footprint and we wish him all the best. Thank you CDR Sully for the tour and your service. Thanks also to Byron Faber for setting up the tour and to Doug Garner for coordinating the registration and access effort. – Norman Marten