Coast Guard Base Seattle
The U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle is a military base headquartered on Elliot Bay. It comprises multiple buildings. The Coast Guard’s presence in Seattle dates back to the late 1800s. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters are some of the vessels that have been prominently used in The Coast Guard Throughout its. The purpose of the cutter contributes to the overall mission of the base and therefore you can see multiple cutters docked at the base regularly. Cutters have been most commonly ships of 65 feet or more and are very well equipped to handle the day to day operations required of Coast Guard Ships. The cutters were based or homeported in Elliot Bay on pier 70 as well as Navy pier 91. Nowadays the base comprises multiple piers as well as multiple buildings to fulfill the functions the base carries out on a day to day basis.
Backstory and Context
The U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle is the only substantial military facility left in King County. The Base was founded in 1925 when The Pacific Steam company built pier 36. The Federal government bought the property in 1940 for a regional port. It was expanded when pier 37 was constructed. It is a base of about 1,650 active duty and reserve CG employees. These employees serve and are assigned both onshore duty and others on vessels. Both are important for the base to function on any certain day. The base carries out multiple operations daily and search and rescue missions if need be. As well as conducts safety inspections. It also examines commercial vessels and facilities on the water. Furthermore, the base protects critical infrastructure, as well as buoy maintenance. It also sometimes conducts open houses for the five service academies which are Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, Merchant Marine. A fun fact is that the Coast Guard is the smallest of the military branches in the number of people serving and has fewer people than the New York City Police Department.
The Seattle Bay is called Elliot Bay and that is where the base is stationed. Elliot Bay also is a port to container ships as well so the cutters however they aren’t the largest ships you will see in the bay. The cutters are docked mostly on the same pier and the freighters are south of the pier the cutters are moored. There are other smaller boats moored at the same docks as the cutters, however, due to size and body style, the cutters and the icebreakers can catch people’s eyes a lot easier. During the open houses the base hosts students and their families are given a tour of the cutters. They walk from the building through the parking lot to the pier. The group splits into two and the two take turns checking the inside of the military vessel they are about to board. Sadly the cutter stayed moored, but that is not to say the experience of being inside the innards of the ship and seeing the inner workings and how different parts of the ship work together to propel the ship forwards. Places like the engine room, bridge, and stern. The people on the tour get to ask the Coast Guard officers and enlisted men of that vessel what it is like to live onboard and be a part of a team to keep the ship going. The crew gives people an inside scoop on what life is like both on the vessel, as well as onshore in bases and headquarters such as the onshore base buildings. This is a cool interaction because the people onboard are sometimes just a couple more years older than the students on the tour so it is exciting for the students who can get a glimpse of what a potential future on one of the cutters or onboard any military vessel could look like. The tour is mainly of the cutter and that is the vessel you get to go onboard, however, that doesn't mean that there aren't great views to admire of the ships both military and nonmilitary surrounding the cutter in the water. People can see multiple other ships such as container ships and icebreakers while on the tour.
The overriding philosophy in the Coast Guard is “Semper Paratus” which means “Always Ready.” This is a motto the base strives to live by. The U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle is based on Elliot Bay which carries out multiple vital operations within the pacific northwest region.