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cadet blogs

Interning at the Marine Safety Center

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Capuzzi Photo This entry was co-authored by Michael Caballero.


For the first phase of the Summer 2013 training period, I along with my classmate Max Caballero, participated in an academic internship at the Marine Safety Center (MSC) at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The MSC is where a lot of the Coast Guard Academy’s Naval Architecture graduates end up at some point in their careers. The staff engineers at the MSC review plans submitted by commercial vessel designers and evaluate them based upon the Code of Federal Regulations. In addition, the MSC is home to the Coast Guard’s Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT), a team of engineers that provide technical assistance to local Coast Guard officials and on-scene supervision at the sites of marine casualties.


Prior to leaving for the MSC, Max and I attended the Western Rivers Orientation Course (WROC), a collaborative training event between the River School and the Coast Guard. At the WROC, we learned about the Western River system, which includes the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and Mobile rivers, among other waterways. The River School instructor, a retired Coast Guard officer, talked about maritime commerce on the rivers, which consists mainly of towboats and barges. The Coast Guard instructor, a captain from the District Eight waterways staff, talked about the Coast Guard missions on the waterways and the close interaction with the Army Corps of Engineers. The goal of the program was to educate future Coast Guard officers on the riverine mission, which is typically overshadowed by the coastal mission. It was very informative.


After the conclusion of the WROC, we headed down I-95 to American University in D.C., where we would be staying for the next five weeks. We checked into our dorm, which was actually smaller than the rooms at the Academy. The next day, we began our excursion to Coast Guard Headquarters, which was not an easy journey. It began with a twenty-minute walk to the Metro station. We caught the red line subway, took it to Gallery Place, where we switched to the green/yellow line, which we took to L’Enfant Plaza. Once there, we hopped on a shuttle bus to take us to the MSC. It only took an hour and a half to get to work.


Interning at the Marine Safety Center (Continued) PDF Icon  


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