US Coast Guard engineer gets stuck into Royal Navy life

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet Storyline: HMS Albion

A marine engineer from the United States Coast Guard has been getting stuck into Royal Navy life with HMS Albion in the Baltic Sea.

USCG engineers can volunteer for an exchange with the Royal Navy for a three-year posting and Electricians Mate, CPO Stacia Bowles, grasped the opportunity 

“I chose this programme because it would challenge me and I thrive when challenged in my job,” she said.

“Although, at times I get frustrated when it feels like a job or a piece of equipment that I am troubleshooting is winning the fight, when I finally figure out the issue and get the equipment back up and running, I feel so elated. 

“The personal reason I applied is that I have always wanted to live abroad and experience a different culture and lifestyle than what I experience in America.

“I stay pretty busy on board HMS Albion and my years of experience on ships in the US Coast Guard have taught me knowledge that I have been able to apply to my Royal Navy posting, which is part of the reason this exchange programme exists.”

The USCG exchange programme currently has 11 USCG engineers deployed on ten different Royal Navy ships. 

Each engineer arrived in the UK last year, completed required Royal Navy training, and then embedded as ship’s company on a variety of Royal Navy ships until 2023. 

Discussing the benefit to both the Royal Navy and USCG, Lieutenant Joshua Branthoover, Royal Navy Exchange USCG Detachment Supervisor, said: “The United States Coast Guard is proud to strengthen our partnership with a key ally by providing some of our best senior enlisted engineers, like CPO Bowles, to serve in critical roles aboard Royal Navy ships. 

“CPO Bowles is a prime example of our exceptional workforce providing value across the globe as she leads and learns while serving with Royal Navy personnel aboard HMS Albion.”