Allen's appointment is not the first time the Bush administration has turned to a Coast Guard officer to salvage a troubled operation. Retired Commandant James M. Loy was drafted to rescue the foundering Transportation Security Administration in 2002, and went on to become deputy secretary for Homeland Security.If you hear Allen on TV, you'll realize he's a straight shooter. He is a no-nonsense guy.
The Coast Guard's ability to handle many missions simultaneously makes it an asset for political leaders trying to manage a crisis. Putting a career military officer in charge of the Katrina response also may help to defuse criticism of the administration for entrusting the task to a political appointee with little crisis management experience.
Asked about Brown, Allen said he spoke to him Friday.And he doesn't like red tape, either,
"I worked with Mike Brown. He's a great friend. I wish him good luck. I'm on the ground to move forward. That's what I tend intend to do," he said.
"He doesn't let red tape and bureaucracy get in his way — he figures out a way to do things," said Master Chief Petty Officer Skip Bowen, who has served with Allen three times in the last 15 years.He's gonna save some bacon while he does the nation a lot of good.