This is the first time the agency celebrated the service’s birthday and legacy since the Coast Guard joined and formed the Intelligence Coordination Center’s GEOINT Department at NGA in 2014.
“Every year, the Coast Guard gets more integrated into the mission at NGA, and celebrating our birthday is just another way that we can do that,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Lance Tinstman, department head.
The Coast Guard dates its service back 228 years, and during the ceremony the Coast Guard’s honor guard and choir helped honor that legacy by singing Semper Paratus, the service’s official song.
“The Coast Guard is the oldest naval service,” said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Rachel Johnson, geospatial intelligence analyst. “Celebrating our heritage helps us maintain our responsiveness and relevance moving forward.”
While, the Coast Guard is the smallest of the five military branches, it may be the largest in scope of mission, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Linda ‘UV’ Urrutia-Varhall, NGA assistant director of plans.
NGA hosts 10 Coast Guardsmen in the ICC where the members manage collection requirements, tasking and facilitating requests for information, and produce imagery and geospatial analysis product for both the Coast Guard and intelligence community partners.
“It may not be a large team, but its impact is immense,” said Urrutia-Varhall. “I’m proud of the work we do together.”
The birthday celebration was a ground-breaking moment, said Johnson.
“It’s more than just cake and punch,” said Johnson. “It is taking an operational pause to remember everything we have been through and how we got here today.”
Guests included former Coast Guard commandant, retired Adm. Thad Allen, as the keynote speaker, current vice commandant, Adm. Charles Ray, and the assistant commandant for intelligence, Rear Adm. Robert P. Hayes.