Coast Guard's Great Lakes Cutter gets 1st female watch crew

Women on watch for the US Coast Guard's Great Lakes Cutter

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DETROIT - The all-female watch crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw were getting ready to dock and off load buoys.

They are the first all-female crew for the Cutter Mackinaw and may be a first for the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Ensign Katie Braynard, who organized the watch schedule.

The female bridge team includes Ensign Katie Braynard as the underway officer-of-the-deck, Petty Officer First Class Erin Hunter as junior officer-of-the-deck and Seaman Rebecca Smith-Heshley, who stood lookout.

The engineering team is Lt. Meredith Palo as engineer-of-the-watch, Petty Officer 1st Class Brenda Daniels as journeyman engineer and Ensign Erin Nolan working toward her journeyman engineer qualification.

The two duty cooks for the evening meal were Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa Wetenkamp and Petty Officer 2nd Class Nichole Billow.

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