DVIDS – News – U.S. Coast Guard participates in U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz reactivation and naming ceremony in Guam
SANTA RITA, Guam — U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam’s fast response cutters USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) and USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) participated in a joint ship display to help support and celebrate the reactivation and naming ceremony for U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz off Asan Beach, Guam, on Jan. 26, 2023.
The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger, presided over the ceremony.
In attendance were local government representatives, U.S. Navy leaders, representatives from the Japanese government, and the descendants of the late Brig. Gen. Vincente “Ben” Tomas Garrido Blaz.
Blaz was the first CHamoru Marine to attain a general officer rank. He was a teenager in Guam during the attack by Imperial Japanese Forces in 1941 and the subsequent occupation and liberation. He attended the University of Notre Dame on scholarship and commissioned into the Marines in 1951. The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with the Combat “V” for valor, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and other awards mark his distinguished service.
Following his military service Blaz was elected as a representative for Guam to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1984 to 1992. He championed the reorganization of Guam’s judicial system and advocated for veterans’ education benefits. He rests in Arlington National Cemetery.
Gen. Berger noted the importance of remembering a vital local leader during the naming ceremony and Blaz’s lessons to remember the past but not become stagnant. The Marines have called Guam home almost continuously since the landing of U.S. Forces in June 1898 during the Spanish American War. The U.S. Navy established U.S. Naval Station Guam in 1899. The Marines fired the first American shots of World War I in Apra Harbor. These were warning shots fired against German sailors aboard the interned ship SMS Cormoran II, a German-armed merchant raider; when word of the official war came and they were to surrender the ship. The German crew subsequently scuttled the Cormoran II and it remains in Apra Harbor, now a popular dive site.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps have a history of working together in Guam dating back nearly 80 years when Coast Guard members operated the landing craft that brought the III Amphibious Corps ashore in 1944 to retake the island from occupying forces in World War II. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to work with the Department of the Navy under the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy.
U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam comprises nearly 300 personnel conducting response and prevention activities with administrative and logistics support to the Joint Rescue Sub-Center, three fast response cutters, and a small boat station. The unit provides a significant portion of the U.S. Coast Guard’s enduring regional presence serving the people of the Pacific by conducting 10 of the Service’s 11 statutory missions with a focus on search and rescue, defense readiness, living marine resources protection, and ensuring commerce through marine safety and ports, waterways, and coastal security.
|Date Posted:||01.26.2023 20:45|
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