USCG Auxiliary Ketchikan Flotilla returns: Event marks local flotilla's re-establishment

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Ketchikan Flotilla member Tony Karvelas is congratulated by marine safety member, Ketchikan Detachment, Jim Paul on Thursday evening during a flotilla standup, in which U.S. Coast Guard Auxilary, Ketchikan Flotilla, was officially recognized, at U.S. Coast Guard Base Ketchikan. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

A Flotilla Stand Up was held Thursday evening at the U.S. Coast Guard Base Ketchikan to commorate the re-establishment of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Ketchikan Flotilla, and to officially grant a charter and plank owner ship to its members.

The designation change for a flotilla took place in March, when 25 volunteer auxiliarists from Ketchikan attained the level membership required for a flotilla.

In recent years, the Ketchikan group had operated as a detachment under the Petersburg Flotilla because it hadn't been able to sustain flotilla-level membership.

Ketchikan Flotilla Commander Renee Schofield began the ceremony by thanking those who she called the "old guard," for their dedication to re-establishing the flotilla.

The old guard includes auxiliarists Mick Toole, Don Hartford, Dave Alderson, Dody Morrison and Doris Fox.

"Those are the people who, when we went to detachment status, stayed the course," said Schofield. "They could have easily said, ‘We're all done.’ But they stayed the course and that is why we are here today."

Capt. Steven R. White, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Juneau, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Morgan H. Roper and Alaska Auxiliary Commodore Jim Chase were all in attendance at the ceremony.

Chase reflected on the re-establishment of the Ketchikan Flotilla.

"You can't understand how proud I am,” Chase said. “You go to the Auxiliary manual; you hear about establishing, you hear about dis-establishing, but you never hear anything about re-establishing."  

Chase then presented Flotilla Cmdr. Renee Schofield and Vice Cmdr. Ed Schofield with a flag for the flotilla commander and a flag for the vice commander, respectively.

White also gave an address at the ceremony.

"There is nothing that motivates better than feeling good about what you do and the service you provide," White said.

White spoke of his admiration for those in the Auxiliary who helped to re-establish the Ketchikan Flotilla and the leadership role that they have taken.  

"What an opportunity, if you really want to give to your country and you really want to give where it matters in the maritime environment, what an opportunity for people. You guys are setting the standard. You're showing the leadership; you're doing it all," White said.   

 The charter was then presented to the flotilla as members went up to receive their plank owner certificates. The plank owner certificates gave official status to members of the flotilla who were there for its first commission.

Flotilla members and fellow Coast Guard attendees gathered afterwards for a potluck dinner, a tradition of theirs.