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Division 5 Welcomes New Flotilla in Ohio

Fri, 10 Jan 14   Posted by: Robert Stronach
Flotilla leaders sworn in
Ninth District Eastern Region Chief of Staff Ed Monaco swears in Flotilla 57
Commander Brian Wells
(right) and  Vice Commander Steven Baughley.
Photo by Shirley J. Baker, Flotilla 57, Ashtabula, OH.

Division 5 boasts a newly chartered flotilla in Ashtabula, Ohio -- Flotilla 57.

The flotilla commander (FC) is Brian Wells, who recently retired after 24-year career in the Coast Guard Reserves that saw him called to active duty seven times. Vice flotilla commander is Steven Baughley, who served in the Coast Guard from 1973 to 1979.

They received their charter and appointments last October in a ceremony at Coast Guard Station Ashtabula, where the flotilla meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 1800. Officiating was Paul Barlow, assistant director of the auxiliary for the Ninth Coast Guard District. Ninth District Eastern Region Chief of Staff Ed Monaco represented Commodore Robert Laurer and swore in the new flotilla leaders. Also present were Chief David Phillips and other personnel from Station Ashtabula, plus representatives of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Before the evening was over, FC Wells swore in two new members.

The journey of establishing a new flotilla began a year earlier when Flotilla 56 in Roaming Shores, Ohio sponsored a detachment at Station Ashtabula, with the support of then-Division 5 Commander Shirley J. Baker and Flotilla Commander George Feschenko. The detachment began meeting monthly, "with the great support of Chief David Phillips and the regular Coast Guard at the station," noted Baker, who is now immediate past division commander. "Recruitment was outstanding."

Division 5 has two other detachments it hopes to eventually grow into flotillas, Baker said. One is in Erie, PA, sponsored by Flotilla 56, and the other is at Shenango Dam in Sharpsville, PA, sponsored by Flotilla 51 of Yougstown, Ohio.

Flotilla Commander Wells started with the Coast Guard "long before graduation from high school, as an Auxiliarist in 1967," Baker said. "He served as boat crewman at Station Ashtabula. He joined the CG Reserves in 1987."

Vice Flotilla Commander Raughley's Coast Guard service included a tour on Coast Guard Cutter Bibb out of New Bedford, MA; then onto Station Fairport, Harbor Ohio, where he qualified as OOD, boarding officer, boat engineer and cowswain on 30 ft. and 40 ft. utility boats.