New Coast Guard Unit Commissioned at Fort Drum

cutting the ribbon on the new headquarters building for the Coast Guard MSU at Fort Drum
Capt. Mark Kuperman, Coast Guard Sector Eastern Great Lakes commander; Lt. Commander Carrie Foster, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Thousand Islands commanding officer; Rear Admiral Jon. P. Hickey, 9th Coast Guard District commander; and Col. Matthew Myer, Fort Drum garrison commander, cut the ribbon on the new headquarters building for the Coast Guard MSU at Fort Drum. (Mike Strasser/U.S. Army)

FORT DRUM — A new U.S. Coast Guard unit has opened at Fort Drum — the Marine Safety Unit: Thousand Islands.

LDC Carrie Foster will serve as the commanding officer for MSU: Thousand Islands.

"We are very excited to welcome the community, our stakeholders, our partners into our new building here at Fort Drum and celebrate with us for the commissioning of our new unit," she said.

Rear Admiral Jon Hickey, who serves as the senior coast guard commander for all of the Great Lakes and their federal waters, and has been the special assistant to the vice president, spoke during the event in front of about 30 or 40 people.

This facility will replace a separate Massena facility, where Coast Guard members were involved in managing invasive aquatic species on the great lakes. But over time, new technologies have emerged, changing the mission.

Foster said the new unit centralizes the area of operation and enhances their mission capability.

This unit will do inspections, pollution response and marine casualty investigations.

"We are very well suited here on Fort Drum to be able to support the commercial maritime industry," she said.

Hickey also thanked Fort Drum Garrison Commander Col. Matthew R. Myer and his team for their support.

"We could not be standing here today without it," Hickey said. "This would not have happened without you and your team's leadership and support ... Our efforts align very, very well with the shared mission and authorities of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and Management Corporation, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, Transport Canada, and of course the Canadian Coast Guard. These partnerships are strong and these partnerships are essential to us getting our collective missions done in the region."

Foster has Fort Drum ties as her father and her girlfriend's father served on Fort Drum

"I'm just incredibly proud to serve here," she said.

The building also underwent renovations to accommodate the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard was there every step of the way, Foster said.

"Just seeing the end product, how ( Garrison Command) really listened to what our needs are in an operational work space, drafted the scope of work, and executed on that contract, and giving us the work space that's certainly going to enhance our mission capability; it's been wonderful to walk through these halls and see the hard work that the Garrison Command has provided us," she said.

Myer said adding the unit to Fort Drum "is really great."

"We want to make sure that we continue a great community and great partnership with you," he said of the unit.


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