17 May, 2000
May 17, 2000
Daily Data (20:30):
Heading 165.807 deg
Air Temp. 2.69C 36.84F
True Wind Dir. 350 deg
True Wind Speed 21 knots
USCGC Healy Facts: Science Systems
Open Working Decks-Forward, 500 sq. ft.; aft, 3,000 sq. ft.; starboard aft, 600 sq. ft.
Bathymetric Survey System including-Echo Sound Processor and depth digitizer, Seabeam bottom mapping sonar, XBT data acquisition unit, acoustic doppler current profiler
Cargo Holds-3 cargo holds of 20,000 cu. ft. provided with storage system and serviced by a dedicated science hoist
Bow Boom & Tower Sampling Systems-The forward bow boom is ~15 ft. forward of the ship's bow and the bow tower is ~60 ft. above water line
A ship's Commanding Officer (CO), or Captain, is responsible for the ship, everyone embarked in it and for safely accomplishing the tasks assigned to it. The USCGC Healy's present mission is to test her icebreaking capabilities. Who is the Healy's Captain and what brought him to this ship? With this question in mind, I found Captain Garrett at dinner the other evening and we began discussing his background.
Captain Garrett became interested in the Coast Guard during his high school years and upon graduating, applied to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. While at the Academy, he became fascinated with icebreakers. During his senior year, Captain Garrett chose the billet of the icebreaker, the Polar Star, and was assigned to the Precommissioning Detail after he graduated in 1974. Captain Garrett's duties with the Polar Star as a member of the commissioning crew and a plankowner included his work as a communications officer and deck watch officer. He made his first Arctic trip in 1976.
Following his assignment on the Polar Star, Captain Garrett's next duty was on the 'Wind-class' icebreaker, the Burton Island, as First Lieutenant and Navigator. During this time, the Captain had three deployments to the Arctic and Antarctic and become captivated with icebreakers.
From the Burton Island, Captain Garrett went to Valdez, Alaska, in watch officer duties at Vessel Traffic Service Prince William Sound. The Naval Postgraduate School followed in Monterey, California with the completion of a Master of Science Degree in Management. Then it was off to Headquarters (Washington D.C.) to fulfill duties in the Ice Operations Division.
After his time at Headquarters, Captain Garrett became the Commanding Officer (CO) of the USCGC Mobile Bay, a small icebreaker, in the Great Lakes for two years. Then he returned to Headquarters for four years and went on to the USCGC Active, a law enforcement patrol cutter, as the Executive Officer (XO) for fourteen months. Captain Garrett spent the next two years also an Executive Officer (XO) but this time on the Polar Star.
Following the Polar Star, Captain Garrett parcticipated for one year as a research fellow in the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (1992-93). Next it was back to Headquarters in Washington D.C. and off again to the Polar Sea, but this time for three years as the Commanding Officer (CO). While CO of the Polar Sea, Captain Garrett accomplished three deployments in the Western Arctic and Antarctica.
Captain Garrett was assigned to the Precommissioning Detachment of the USCGC Healy in July of 1998, one year prior to the ship's delivery, as the Healy's Commanding Officer (CO).
During his military career, Captain Garrett has been the recipient of two Meritorious Service medals, two USCG Commendation medals, two USCG Achievement medals, two USCG Unit Commendation, USCG Meritorious Unit Commendation awards, four Antarctic Service medals and three USCG Arctic Service medals.
Captain Garrett is married, has two children and resides in Washington State.
What is Captain Garrett's message to students? "The Coast Guard is a great environment to see the world," the Captain says, and "These opportunities are best accessible when you're young." If young people see and experience the world prior to settling down to jobs, homes and families, their horizons will be expanded and new opportunities will be afforded to them.
It is with thanks and appreciation to Captain Garrett for his time and generosity in granting me this interview in order to share it with you.
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