March 13, 2004 – Vanessa R. Lang of St. Croix has been in the U.S. Coast Guard for nearly 16 years, and she is currently a Petty Officer 1st Class in the supply department aboard USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913), a 270-foot cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.
Lang is involved in a Coast Guard outreach initiative on her home island of St. Croix and around the Virgin Islands. This program is designed to recruit and mentor both current and future members of the U.S. Coast Guard from the Virgin Islands. It also provides students with the opportunity to have answers to their questions about the Coast Guard and what it has to offer.
Most recently, Lang assisted a fellow team member from the Virgin Islands by providing both advice and guidance as he attained the rate of a Storekeeper 3rd Class. "I was able to answer all the questions he had and helped him get off on the right foot," Lang said.
The outreach initiative has been successful in recruiting students to join the Coast Guard team. Coast Guard members contact students and talk with them about the Coast Guard.
Vanessa R. Lang was born and raised on St. Croix. She lived there until 1988 when she decided to join the U.S. Coast Guard and was sent to basic training in Cape May, N.J. Since that time, she has been stationed at Station Port Huron in Michigan; Air Station Clearwater, Fla.; Finance Center Chesapeake, Va.; Training Center Yorktown, Va.; and the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) office in Juneau, Alaska, before her assignment aboard the Mohawk in Florida.
Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk primarily patrols the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, performing counterdrug and migrant operations while enforcing the applicable laws and regulations. In October, Cutter Mohawk had two drug interdictions on their patrol through the Windward Passage and around Great Inagua, Bahamas. These interdictions resulted in the seizure of over one ton of marijuana and the detention of seven suspected smugglers.
Lang holds the position aboard the Mohawk of the Funds Certifying Officer, which means she is in charge of acquiring supplies requested by each department of the ship.
"I really enjoy being apart of the Outreach Initiative," Lang said, "because it allows me to help and guide those people from the Virgin Islands that are interested in joining the Coast Guard."
To learn more about the Mohawk and the Coast Guard, visit their Web site.
Editor's note: This article was provided to the Source by Coast Guard Ensign Matthew Cunningham.
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