Monday, February 01, 2016

Coast Guard CAMSLANT Closed? Not!

I have seen some post around the hobby net indicating that CAMSLANT Chesapeake has closed. Nothing could be further from the truth.  First some background on the closure of CAMSPAC Point Reyes courtesy of the Point Reyes Light (9/17/2015) at Bolding within the article below is by the post author.

After 43 years, Coast Guard site closes

The United States Coast Guard communications facility in the Point Reyes National Seashore was decommissioned last Friday as part of a nationwide process of consolidation to centralize communications. “It is a historic day. It is the end of a chapter in Coast Guard history,” said Vice Admiral Charles Ray, the Pacific Area commander of the Coast Guard, at the decommissioning ceremony. The Bay Area station first started in San Francisco in 1937, but was moved to the seashore in 1972, with a receiver station near Abbotts Lagoon and a transmitter site in Bolinas. The station—Communications Area Master Station Pacific, or CAMSPAC—called itself “the nerve center of the Pacific Area Coast Guard,” and provided communications to over 13,000 Coast Guard men and women at 358 units from Alaska to the Middle East to the South Pacific, as well as acting as a distress notification center and providing weather warnings and safety information to commercial and recreational vessels. At one point it had up to 183 employees, who generally lived in the former Coast Guard housing site in downtown Point Reyes. CAMSPAC, and all the communication stations, have been critical to the function of the Coast Guard. “You can’t operate if you can’t communicate,” Mr. Ray said, calling CAMSPAC a “lifeline” that has helped those in distress at sea. He told the story of a vessel named True Love that attempted to travel from Hawaii to Washington State in 1997. It encountered a bad storm, lost its drive shaft, and started to run out of food, water and ideas. The crew tried one last time to radio for help, and a 19-year-old crewman at CAMSPAC responded. “They lived because of this place,” Mr. Ray said. But changing technology, particularly the emergence of satellite communications, has made operating numerous stations unnecessary. Consequently the Coast Guard has been consolidating its communications sites for a few decades. In 1993, CAMSPAC took over operations once routed through Guam, and in 1997 it began remotely operating a station located in Honolulu. Now CAMSPAC—along with other stations in Boston, Miami, New Orleans, Honolulu and Chesapeake—will be remotely operated from a single station, eliminating about 200 full time jobs and saving the agency about $10 million a year. The guard has, however, established a small detachment in Novato to maintain the electronics at the decommissioned CAMSPAC facility, a Coast Guard report said. Speakers on Friday noted that the decommissioning was a solemn occasion, but said it was all in the name of forward progress. “We will be vigilant,” Mr. Ray said, “just from a different place.”

If you need any other proof that CAMSLANT is alive and well, here is the link to their website

CAMSLANT Chesapeake (USCG Photo)