Coast Guard leaders strengthen ties with Traverse City community

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, delivers the keynote address during the 92nd Annual Traverse City Chamber of Commerce Dinner, Jan. 28, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, delivers the keynote address during the 92nd Annual Traverse City Chamber of Commerce Dinner. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener

On Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce held its 92nd Annual Dinner at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, in Traverse City, Mich.

The keynote speaker at this year’s dinner was Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District. During his speech, Parks released the Great Lakes Maritime Strategy, which describes a five-year vision, the district commander’s guiding principles, the Ninth Coast Guard District’s strategic objectives, and a call to action that will guide the years ahead.

The Great Lakes Maritime Strategy has six strategic objectives: excel at mission execution; inspire and serve our people; enhance bi-national cooperation and governance; optimize force allocation and resources; strengthen our strategic partnerships; and share our story.

“For our partners and communities, we share this strategy so you know what your Coast Guard in the Great Lakes will be working toward, and so that you may hold us accountable to the principles and priorities that have been outlined,” said Parks.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Cmdr. Jonathan Spaner, commanding officer of Air Station Traverse City, cut a ribbon during a ceremony recognizing the formation of the Traverse City Chapter of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, Jan. 28, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Cmdr. Jonathan Spaner, commanding officer of Air Station Traverse City, cut a ribbon during a ceremony recognizing the formation of the Traverse City Chapter of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener.

Also during the dinner, Parks, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Cmdr. Jonathan Spaner formally introduced the newly formed Traverse City chapter of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, named the Cherry Capital Guardians, sponsored by Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City.

Since 1958, the Naval Sea Cadet Corps has been committed to providing American youth with a drug- and alcohol-free environment to foster their leadership abilities, broaden their horizons through hands-on training, and guide them to becoming mature young adults.

“It’s making the connection between water, boating safety, leadership for young people, opportunities to learn, opportunities to gain skills and experience, so it’s wonderful on every level,” said Stabenow.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District and Tribal Chairman Derek J. Bailey of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, sign a memorandum of understanding, Jan. 29, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener.

Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District and Tribal Chairman Derek J. Bailey of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, sign a memorandum of understanding. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener.

While in Traverse City, Parks signed a memorandum of understanding with Tribal Chairman Derek J. Bailey, of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. This agreement represents a unique opportunity to formalize the cooperation between the Coast Guard and the Grand Traverse Band and is intended to solidify an enduring relationship.

“I think today exemplifies, truly, hands reaching out to each other and saying let’s work together,” said Bailey.

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