Camden named first Coast Guard Community

May 1, 2014

The county of Camden and its cities, St. Marys, Kingsland and Woodbine, have received word that they have been approved for the designation as a Coast Guard Community.

The designation, endorsed by congressional committees who have oversight over the Coast Guard and the approval by Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., is made to recognize the outstanding support the community provides to the Coast Guard, its personnel and their families. Camden County and its cities now join 15 other cities throughout the nation to be designated but is the first to be designated a community.

The Coast Guard plays a critical role in the safety and well being of Camden County’s residents with almost 300 Coast Guard personnel located throughout the community.

The two units in Camden County are the Maritime Force Protection Unit (MFPU), vital elements in the protection of the U.S. Navy assets located aboard Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base and the Maritime Safety and Security Team 91108 (MSST), which were established after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in response to heightened security levels and operate throughout the country.

To support its Coast Guard military and their families, the Coast Guard Community of Camden County coordinates community recognition events and programs.

The community, with the lead of The Camden Partnership, advocated for the commissioning of the MSST. With the lead of the Navy League, they were responsible for the commissioning of the cutters Sea Dog and Sea Dragon.

When the community learned of the Coast Guard’s budget reduction, it joined forces to work together with leaders to lobby on its behalf to restore its budget.

The Camden Partnership made a visit to 210 congressional offices in support of restoring the Coast Guard budget.

Every year the local Navy League honors the Coast Guard Sailor of the Year and works with the Coast Guard units in recognizing the Coast Guard birthday, and the chamber of commerce sponsors a military member of the month.

“We applied for this designation 16 months ago after Commandant Adm. Bob Papp spoke to our community,” said Sheila McNeill, The Camden Partnership president and past national president of the Navy League of the U.S.

“We are just thrilled that we have been approved and that the designation is for the community and not just one of the cities. We will continue to advocate for the national needs of this service that does so much to protect our homeland.”

A special community feature unlike any other designated city is a motto seen throughout the county on posters with the letters EDICCIMAD, which stands for Every Day in Camden County is Military Appreciation Day.