January 2016 Commerce Club Featuring RADM David Callahan, Commander, 8th District, U.S. Coast Guard
By Judith Schultz,
RADM David Callahan, Commander, 8th District, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), kicked off the Port Bureau’s first Commerce Club luncheon of the new year on January 14, 2016, at Brady’s Landing. RADM Callahan updated the 180+ attendees on the continuing progress of the Commandant’s top priorities, noting the goals of the recently published Human Capital Strategy plan. RADM Callahan prefaced his remarks by commending the Houston maritime community for their efforts to communicate effectively and participate in activities to keep the community “tight”.
“You’re willingness to do this,” said RADM Callahan, indicating attendance at the Port Bureau’s Commerce Club luncheon event, “makes the port safer and more secure.”
Disrupting criminal activities and organizations in the Western Hemisphere, ensuring safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic, facilitating the safety and security of the country’s energy renaissance, and defending against cyber threats were priority topics touched on by RADM Callahan. His description of the U.S. as an “arctic nation” may have come as surprise to some, but he emphasized its importance to U.S. economic development and security.
Callahan focused part of his speaking time on energy, particularly on the impact to maritime transportation from increased LNG usage as a marine fuel and in exports. “What does it mean for us to have more tanker traffic? How will it impact already busy waterways?” he asked rhetorically to stress his thoughts and pointing out the Gulf Coast is home to 30 LNG liquefaction facilities. “The answers are driven by business decisions. The Coast Guard has to be prepared whichever way it goes.”
Regulation expectations for 2016 were touched on by RADM Callahan, but he reminded everyone that “uncontrollable factors”, such as the unpredictability of an election year, can keep roll-out timelines uncertain, particularly for such large scale issues as the ramp-up of tow vessel inspections. He also noted marine casualty reporting on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf as an anticipated change this year.
Throughout his remarks, RADM Callahan stressed the importance of the new Human Capital Strategy in accomplishing USCG goals. The Strategy charts a 10-year course for building a workforce to meet the demands of the 21st century, guiding USCG leaders to develop people with the competencies and experience to execute Coast Guard missions and foster proficiency.
“We have 24/7, 365-day duties; there is not another garrison to come in. It is very important to have properly trained and ‘ready for any emergency’ people,” said Callahan.
RADM Callahan concluded his remarks with appreciation for the support the Coast Guard receives from Houston and his continued commitment to “work hand-in-hand” with the maritime community.
Editor’s Note: Join us as David Arsenault, president and CEO, Hyundai Merchant Marine America and Hyundai America Shipping Agency, speaks on the future of the container industry at the February Commerce Club at Brady’s Landing on February 11, 2016. Individual seats and table sponsorships are available. Sign up by visting www.txgulf.org or by calling (713) 678-4300.
- Date February 5, 2016
- Tags February 2016