Carpenter volunteers ramp up the Stratton
When sailors need help, they call the Coast Guard. When friends of the Coast Guard need help, they call the Carpenters.
The issue was the ceremonies surrounding the commissioning of the USCGC Stratton: how to get a group of 90-year-old female veterans, many in wheelchairs, onto the deck of the Coast Guard's newest cutter for a reception.
First Lady Michelle Obama attended the official Commissioning on March 31 of the USCGS Stratton.
Named for Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, first Director of the Coast Guard SPARS, the enlisted women and officers in the service during World War II, the ship is the third of a new class of National Security Cutters.
Carpenters built a ramp to get a group of 90-year-old female veterans, many of them in wheelchairs, up to the lift, so they could attend a reception on the Stratton.
The solution: use a lift, and build a ramp to get up the first five feet onto the lift. Another challenge was logistical. In order to fit on the dock and leave room for other parts of the ceremony, the ramp had to make a turn. Because of all the other activities, it was not practical to build the ramp in place.
Members of the Council's Organizing Department went to work, building the ramp in sections in Manteca. With the loan of a flatbed truck and driver from union employer Service West, the sections of ramp were delivered to Coast Guard Island in Alameda and assembled in time for the reception.
Veterans attending a reception on the Stratton.
A little background is in order. The Stratton is the third of a new class of National Security Cutters to be built under the Coast Guard's long-range Deepwater project. The state-of-the-art 418-foot vessel, with its crew of 112, can interdict smugglers carrying drugs and illegal immigrants; protect fishing zones, coastline and harbors; and carry out search and rescue missions. It is named for Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, the first Director of the Coast Guard's SPARS, 10,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers who joined the service during World War II. A group of about 50 Coast Guard SPARs were the center of attention as guests of honor at the commissioning of the Stratton.
Although the Stratton is not exactly ADA-compliant, the ramp and lift worked as promised, and the reception came off without a hitch. On Saturday, March 31, the SPARS and the ramp builders attended the official Commissioning, presided over by First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
At the end of the project, NCCRC Executive Officer Bob Alvarado sent everyone involved an email expressing his thanks: "I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you not only for the work you did at the dedication, but the goodwill you have built between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Union."
The following Carpenters Union staff contributed to the Stratton project: Tim Lipscomb, John Pock, Sean Hebard, Tim Litton, Adrian Simi and Tim Mudge; along with Mark Vignoles, Founder & President of Service West, and Valentin Alanzo, Service West driver.
For more on the Commissioning, see the website.
View more information on the SPARS.
For a few more pictures of the ramp project, visit us on Facebook.