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Rear Admiral Jody Breckenridge to Make Special Appearance in Merced to Discuss Homeland Security

March 22, 2006  

It took Castle Air Museum Curator Larry Birks four months to pull it off, but his perseverance finally paid off and because of him, the community of Merced County will have the privilege of listening to Coast Guard Rear Admiral Jody Breckenridge speak on Homeland Security as she makes a rare and special appearance at the Merced College Theater Wed., March 29, from 1-4 p.m.

At the end of this month, Rear Admiral Breckenridge will assume her new duties as District 11 Commander over Operational Forces for California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada . She will give an overview on what Homeland Security is, what areas it encompasses, talk about the Katrina efforts, and spend some time answering questions from the audience.

Prior to this promotion, Rear Admiral Breckenridge served as Commander of Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific since May 20, 2003 where she was responsible for logistics and systems support for units throughout the Pacific Area.

Larry Birks, a member of the Navy League, met Real Admiral Breckenridge at a Navy League meeting in the Bay Area, where he was presenting an exhibit of World War II memorabilia. She found the exhibit very interesting and they struck up a professional relationship after that. Upon hearing her speak on Homeland Security at that meeting, Birks thought "we need to hear this in the Valley," and thus began his four-month long endeavor to bring her to the Central Valley, and in particular to Merced College.

"I am hoping that her visit will generate so much interest that members of our community will come out to the Castle Air Museum to pick up brochures and informational items regarding Homeland Security," said Birks. "People need to be aware of what is happening in the world and how Homeland Security works to protect us."

Rear Admiral Breckenridge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and was commissioned upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1976. She earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Personal awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Achievement Medals, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation, and four Meritorious Team Commendations.

Rear Admiral Breckenridge's report on Homeland Security is free to the public and parking permit requirements will be suspended during the time of her speaking engagement.

For further information, contact Shannon Picciano , Merced College Public Info rmation Specialist, at 209.384-6176.

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