It feels pretty good to be 100 years old! I don't feel a day over 29. Last Saturday, approximately 350 of our shipmates gathered in the Atrium of the Ronald Reagan building to celebrate the NOAA Corps. I wish all of you could have been there to enjoy the celebration and revel in the pride of a century of dedicated service and accomplishment serving NOAA and the Nation. During the gala, Mr. Ben Friedman, our Deputy Under Secretary for Operations performing the duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, delivered particularly inspiring remarks regarding the contributions and importance of the NOAA Corps. He has graciously agreed to allow me to republish his remarks (from his notes, with light editing based on my recollection) in this installment of the Cyberflash:
Thank you Admiral Score. Admiral Score will be retiring later this year and I want to thank him for his service to the NOAA Corps, NOAA, and the Nation. Thank you Admiral White [RADM Jonathan White, USN, Retired served as Emcee for the Dinner] for hosting our celebration tonight. Thank you to our distinguished guests in attendance tonight. Thank you to the BOTC classes and NOAA Corps officers. And a special thank you to the wage mariners, civilian aviation crews, and shore side professionals who can't be here tonight. We couldn't do our mission without you.
I remember the first time I saw a NOAA ship. I had been at NOAA about a year and had just been promoted to Deputy General Counsel. I went to Hawaii to visit attorneys out there and see the work they were doing, and the NOAA Corps was kind enough to give me a tour of the Sette.
As I walked up to the pier, I saw that big white ship, with the big NOAA logo on it, and I understood that NOAA's mission was real. Up until that point, it was more theoretical. Remember that I spent 16 years at the Department of Justice before coming to NOAA as a federal prosecutor - NOAA was a big career change for me, and I didn't know a lot about it before coming. I started as head of the General Counsel enforcement section, where I worked on fisheries and marine mammal cases - but it wasn't until I saw that big white ship that I understood, this is real. This is where NOAA's mission happens and for the first time I really understood what NOAA's mission was really about.
We go to sea, we do marine and atmospheric research, we chart the coasts, we protect the fisheries, we do emergency response - we do cool and amazing work that has a huge impact on the nation and the world, and it was all represented by that big white ship.
As I toured through the ship I learned a second great truth – the NOAA Corps is NOAA. It is what NOAA is about. It is at the core of NOAA's identity. We could not do our mission without it. No other organization within NOAA represents the "One NOAA" concept more than the NOAA Corps. No other organization handles the scope and breadth of NOAA's work. The NOAA Corps is a unifying force within NOAA. NOAA, of course, has five line offices with officers serving in all of them. Including:
OAR - 14 officers serve in positions from Antarctica to American Samoa, support marine and atmospheric research. In fact, the NOAA Corps produced the head of OAR and Acting Chief Scientist, Craig McClean, Captain, NOAA Corps, retired.
NWS - 10 officers working in aviation weather, environmental modeling, space weather prediction, storm surge prediction. Current and former NOAA Corps Officers serve in senior leadership positions within NWS.
NMFS - 32 officers serve in fisheries science centers and regional offices from Antarctica to Anchorage at nearly every level; providing marine operations, unmanned systems support, and scientific expertise.
NESDIS - 8 officers serving to support the environmental model center, the satellite oceanography and climatology division, and the search and rescue satellite operations program.
And of course NOS - 48 officers, including a flag officer, providing hydrographic survey operations, analysis and technical support, coordinating marine and dive operations for the National Marine Sanctuaries, and emergency response support.
OMAO - 230 billets where NOAA Corps officers operate the largest fleet of survey ships, aircraft, and unmanned systems in the world.
The NOAA Corps is NOAA - there is no separating them. It is its heart, its soul, and where it goes, NOAA goes.
It is the reason why when we were going to move our planes to a new Aircraft Operations Center, there was fight over who would get them in the short term (which continues for the long term), and we had huge interest and support from the Hill, which quickly provided a reprogramming to fund it.
It is why, when we had our recent Hurricane Awareness Tour, so many people showed up that they had to be turned away.
It is the reason why, in budget discussions, when as hard as it was, all the lines spoke as one voice to save funding for the ships.
It is why NOAA Corps Officers are sought out by the Hill, and are our liaisons to DOD and the Coast Guard, and are represented in my Office and the Administrator's Office
The NOAA Corps is NOAA. And I could not be more proud to be working with the NOAA Corps in my current position, honoring them for their 100 years of service to the Nation, and watching as they embark on the next 100 years. Thank you.
Happy 100th Birthday Shipmates! Keep the celebration going!
CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
|02 June 2017||AOC Ribbon Cutting|
|23 July 2017||BOTC 130 commences|
|31 July - 4 Aug 2017||Marine Ops - CO/XO Immersion Week|
|CDR Brian Parker||01 Aug 2017|
|CDR Peter Siegel||01 Aug 2017|
|LTJG Sean Luis||18 Aug 2017|
|LT Jasmine Cousins||01 Sep 2017|
|LT Michael Marino||01 Sep 2017|
|LT Andrea Proie||15 Sep 2017|
|CDR Matthew Wingate||01 Oct 2017|
|RADM David Score||01 Nov 2017|
|LCDR Denise Gruccio||01 Nov 2017|
|LCDR Brian Prestcott||01 Nov 2017|