AUXAIR on Ice Patrol: News Support Mission

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pilots Auxiliarist Ron Kaplan (Right) and Lou Volpato (Left) in flight. Photo by Auxiliarist Lou Volpato.

Pilots Auxiliarist Ron Kaplan (Right) and Lou Volpato (Left) in flight. Photo by Auxiliarist Lou Volpato.

By Auxiliarists Ron Kaplan and Lou Volpato

NEW YORK – Coast Guard Auxiliary First District, Southern Region pilots Ron Kaplan and Lou Volpato conducted an ice over flight of New York City and the Hudson River to observe and document shipping channel conditions in support of the 2013-2014 winter icebreaking season, known as Operation Reliable Energy Northeast Winter (RENEW).

Kaplan and Volpato flew in a Piper PA-46 Malibu Mirage with Chiara Sottile, a multimedia journalist with NBC Nightly News; and Petty Officer Second Class Jetta Disco, of Coast Guard Public Affairs Detachment New York, to obtain video footage of ice conditions on the Hudson River and to observe first hand the Auxiliary Air (AUXAIR) program’s role in helping the Coast Guard keep vital waterways open to commercial shipping during the winter months.

The Coast Guard relies heavily on the AuxAir flights for providing daily photos and ice reports of these local waterways. The photos and reports help the Coast Guard decide when and where on the river to dispatch their ice breaking cutters, saving valuable time and money. The imagery taken during the over flights is also available online to local shipping companies who move home heating oil and consumer goods.

Auxiliarist Volpato is interviewed by Sottile on Operation RENEW. Photo by Auxiliarist Lou Volpato.

Auxiliarist Volpato is interviewed on Operation RENEW by Sottile. Photo by Auxiliarist Lou Volpato.

“AUXAIR works so well because of the training of our members and close cooperation with the Coast Guard”, said Ron Kaplan, an Aircraft Commander with the Coast Guard Auxiliary First District, Southern Region.

The crew flew past the Statue of Liberty and past the Freedom Tower looking for ice flowing into New York Harbor. Then they headed north on the Hudson River to West Point, a critical choke point where large amounts of ice collect blocking navigable paths for maritime traffic.

Further north on the Hudson, the aircrew observed the Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay and commercial shipping traffic transiting smoothly along the icy waters near the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

During interviews by both Sottile and Disco, the Auxiliary crew further explained that AuxAir’s winter operations occur seven days a week (weather permitting) from the Shrewsbury and Naversink Rivers in New Jersey to the north including points on the Hudson River to Lake Champlain and the New York/Canadian border.

In addition to the Coast Guard’s Auxiliary Air Division, the NBC news segment “Frigid Winter Freezing Waterways,” also featured Coast Guard cutters from Philadelphia and New York.

From Left to Right: Petty Officer Second Class Jetta Disco, Auxiliarist Ron Kaplan, Auxiliarist Lou Volpato and NBC Journalist Chiara Sottile. Photo by Auxiliarist Lou Volpato.

From Left to Right: Petty Officer Second Class Jetta Disco, Auxiliarist Ron Kaplan, Auxiliarist Lou Volpato and NBC Journalist Chiara Sottile. Photo by Auxiliarist Lou Volpato.

This article was originally published in Division 12 First Southern Region’s Searchlight Magazine – Winter 2014. See the entire electronic version of the magazine at: http://joom.ag/f3hX

Tags: , , , ,

 

Comments


  1. Diane Riggan says:

    I am the Branch Chief Media Relations for Operations and LANTAREA West News – great job AuxAir – we need to make sure the Chief Director’s office is seeing this. Make sure your work is being reported to your District Commander and they are reporting it to HQ. Keep AuxAir in the spotlight. The dedicated men and women in this program quietly go about their work everyday for the Coast Guard. Ice patrols, surveying environmental hazards, search and rescue and interdiction missions in the Caribbean – we just need to grow the program.


Leave a Comment

Click here to cancel reply.




We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at http://www.uscg.mil/global/mail/

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/global/disclaim.asp

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.