Fifteen URAC members and guests attended the November meeting. Held at the Marine Exchange of Southern California which, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, runs the Vessel Traffic System (VTS), refreshments of cookies from Scotty K6ZNL and coffee from our host were provided.
Following official business, which included election of officers for 2015, our Guest speaker was Capt J Kipling (“Kip”) Louttit, Marine Exchange Executive Director.
Rich in history going back to the early 1900s, Capt Louttit gave lots of detailed information on how the Marine Exchange evolved to keep ships at sea safe as they enter and leave the port, as well as tidbits concerning its location on old Fort MacArthur.
“From horseback runners and lookouts waving signal flags and using flashing signal lights — to today’s highly professional MX-VTS technicians operating state-of-the-art electronic radar tracking equipment, radio communications and computer database functions — the Marine Exchange of Southern California has evolved into one of the world’s foremost such organizations, becoming a world-class entity serving the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, El Segundo, San Diego and Port Hueneme as well as the maritime business communities throughout the Southern California region.” (http://www.mxsocal.org/Our-History.aspx)
Following the presentation, we visited the Control Center upstairs to observe the VTS in operation. It was a spectacular evening for viewing the port and ship activity.
With park gates to close and lock at 10:pm, the last of our guests didn’t depart until almost ten; a sure sign of a most interesting evening.
A Big Thank You to Captain Louttit for his hospitality, presentation, and tour of his operation!!