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5th District Mid Atlantic Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

August 19, 2010


Contact: 5th District Public Affairs

Email: d5de@uscg.mil

Office: (757) 398-6272

MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Coast Guard hosts Rescue 21 acceptance ceremony in Baltimore

BALTIMORE - Rep. Elijah E. Cummings speaks during a Coast Guard Rescue 21 communications system acceptance ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Aug. 19, 2010. The Coast Guard created Rescue 21 to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable waters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Kendrick.
BALTIMORE - Rear Adm. Ronald J. Rabago, assistant commandant for acquisition, speaks during a Coast Guard Rescue 21 communications system acceptance ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010. The Coast Guard created Rescue 21 to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable waters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Kendrick) BALTIMORE - Lt. Sara Wallace, the command center chief for Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, gives a presentation to attendees of the Rescue 21 acceptance ceremony in the Sector Baltimore command center, Aug. 19, 2010. The presentation detailed the improvements that the Rescue 21 system offers and described the benefits of the new system. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill. BALTIMORE - Donald Wilt, senior director of federal-civil programs for General Dynamics C4 Systems, speaks during a Coast Guard Rescue 21 communications system acceptance ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Aug. 19, 2010. His company was awarded the Rescue 21 production contract in September 2002. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Kendrick. BALTIMORE - Brig. Gen. Annette Deener, director of joint staff for Gov. Martin O'Malley, speaks during a Coast Guard Rescue 21 communications system acceptance ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Aug. 19, 2010. The Coast Guard created Rescue 21 to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable waters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Kendrick. BALTIMORE - Alex DeMetrick, a reporter for CBS 13, interviews Capt. Mark O'Malley, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, following the Rescue 21 acceptance ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Aug. 19, 2010. The Rescue 21 system allows the Coast Guard to better locate mariners in distress on the water using various towers to narrow a search area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill.
Click on the photos above to view higher resolution versions and more specific caption information on the Coast Guard Visual Imagery site. Audio from the ceremony is below.

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard accepted its Rescue 21 advanced command, control and communications system for Sector Baltimore in a ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard Thursday. 

The Coast Guard created Rescue 21 to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable rivers.

As the maritime version of 9-1-1, it facilitates better communication and interoperability in emergency situations and provides communications coverage out to a minimum of 20 nautical miles off the coastal zone.  It has advanced direction-finding capabilities and increased range, which helps Rescue 21 narrow search areas significantly. The system also helps identify hoax distress calls that can unnecessarily divert Coast Guard assets and manpower.  

Rear Adm. Ronald J. Rábago, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for acquisition and Capt. Mark O'Malley, the Sector Baltimore commander said Rescue 21 is enhancing mission execution and marine safety along the coast of Maryland, northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the upper Chesapeake Bay.  

Additional remarks were delivered by Rep. Elijah Cummings, who serves as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation; Brig. Gen. Annette Deener, director of joint staff for Gov. Martin O'Malley; and Donald Wilt, senior director, federal-civil programs for the National Systems Division of General Dynamics C4 Systems.  General Dynamics C4 Systems was awarded the Rescue 21 production contract in September 2002.

“The Rescue 21 system harnesses today’s cutting-edge technology and enables the Coast Guard to execute all missions, especially its search and rescue mission, with greater agility and efficiency," said Capt. O'Malley. "The Rescue 21 system has increased communication coverage and offers advanced direction-finding capabilities, which significantly reduce the size of our search area."

The acceptance formally brings those capabilities to Sector Baltimore and increases the total U.S. coastline currently covered by Rescue 21 to more than 35,000 miles. 

For more information about Rescue 21, please visit www.uscg.mil/acquisition/rescue21.

Rep. Cummings Audio Clips

Clip 1 - 75kb MP3 (9 sec)
Summary - "This is a wonderful combination where government comes together with private industry to make a difference."

Clip 2 - 325kb MP3 (41 sec)
Summary - "Somebody got up this morning... and they don't know that Rescue 21 is going to save their life..."

Clip 3 - 330kb MP3 (42 sec)
Summary - "Maybe with this development, we will be able to save that one [person]."

Clip 4 -  95kb MP3 (12 sec)
Summary - "Today we celebrate... an improvement to our effectiveness and efficiency." 

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