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2021 Maritime Person of the Year

Captain LaDonn Allen, USCG, Sector Commander
Coast Guard Sector Mobile

The Governors of the Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Mobile, Alabama have selected Captain LaDonn Allen, U. S. Coast Guard, Sector Commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile as the 2021 Maritime Person of the year 

Captain Allen is the Coast Guard Operational Commander for Sector Mobile, which encompasses parts of four states.  This includes 435 miles of coastline, 1,900 miles of inland waterways and five Deepwater ports.  She commanded a force of 680 active duty, 185 reservists, 32 civilians and 390 Auxiliarists, five patrol boats, five Aid to Navigation teams and two inland construction tenders.  Under her superb command, Sector Mobile and its sub units responded to: 3,266 response cases encompassing 886 national response center reports, 774 marine and environmental pollution cases, 112 security incident investigations, 1,306 search and rescue cases with 2,321 lives saved or assisted and $32,057,005 in saved or assisted property, and 553 marine safety casualty investigations

Captain Allen has served as the Sector Commandeer since 2019.  In September 2020, we had hurricane Sally and then in October 2020, we had Hurricane Zeta.  Under her watch, Sector Mobile Waterways and Aids to Navigation teams were able to quickly get the aids in place and the channels opened.  She personally coordinated with port officials, pilots’ organizations, Army Corps of Engineers, port officials and many other stakeholders to reassure all that the Sector Mobile US Coast Guard was leading the recovery and reopening.  In her three years in Mobile, she has responded to 8 hurricanes and coordinated the response to over 1200 pollution cases associated with all the hurricanes. 

Captain Allen has led the US Coast Guard in the response to the worldwide pandemic, Covid-19.  This included establishing policies and procedures to handle vessel arrivals with positive cases.  One of the results of the pandemic was tremendous increase in recreational boating traffic and commensurately, search and rescue cases.  Sector Mobile responded to 421 SAR cases in 2020 and increased to 592 in 2021.  .  

In preparation for Brookley field becoming the passenger terminal for the Mobile area in 2024, Captain Allen and Sector Mobile assisted in the planning and execution of a mass rescue exercise simulating a downed passenger aircraft in Mobile Bay, the first of its kind for the area.  

Under Captain Allen’s leadership, Sector Mobile prepared for, and executed, the first landing of a manned space capsule in 45 years, the first nighttime water splashdown of a capsule in 53 years, and the splashdown of the longest-duration mission of a U.S spacecraft.  These operations were the first time the CG supported capsule recoveries and were the first landings in the Gulf of Mexico.

Finally, as part of her role as the Area Maritime Security Coordinator, she established a first of its kind Regional Response Call process for ReCom (DHS Regional Coordinating Mechanism) partners to coordinate responses to emergent maritime threats in the northeast Gulf of Mexico.

Captain Allen has served as an advisor to the Board of Governors of the Propeller Club of Mobile and has been an active participant in Propeller Club activities.  She has served as a judge at our annual Gumbo cook-off and arranged for Coast Guard vessel visits during the cookoff. 

It is with great pride and pleasure that we award our Propeller Club Maritime Person of the Year for 2021 to Captain LaDonn Allen, USCG, Sector Commander of Coast Guard Sector Mobile.